Thursday, May 26, 2011

When It's THIS Hot...

When it's this hot, one needs some cold beer...

... and a scooter to bring it back on!

Enough said.  Too hot to type any more.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Shot Myself Again

Ever since I experienced the thrill of capturing a picture of myself through one of Pennsylvania's highway cameras I was determined to do it again, from another camera. I had the opportunity this past weekend although I had to finagle a kludge to get the shot. The first picture I did a while ago I was able to capture using my iPod Touch and the free WiFi from at nearby Sheetz gas station. This time the shot would require an internet connected cell phone which mine isn't. Luckily, my partner in crime has one and she just happened to know exactly where the camera was looking out on her end of the commonwealth.

It looks more like some robotic appendage, but the camera is housed inside the bumble at the bottom of the mount. This camera looks down across Route 219 onto Scalp Ave. in Johnstown, Pa. where I'll be attending their annual Thunder in the Valley motorcycle rally in four weeks, right after school is out for the summer.

This is the scene, from street level, upon which the camera looks down. The building, a former Bob Evans restaurant, is home to the Johnstown branch of the Somerset Trust Co. There's my little Neon to the left.

And there we are standing on the sidewalk in the lower right hand corner. The other part of the kludge, since the phone doesn't store internet pictures, was photographing the image on the actual screen of the phone. I shot it in the back seat of the Neon after grabbing the scene with the trusty Fuji digital camera I affectionately call Mama Bear.

To see the actual scene through this road camera in real time, click here.

Yes, I'm doing my share of riding the scooter these days when we have the rare day on which the forecast isn't for scattered thunderstorms. Seems like they're all we've been having lately, and I've been taking the car to work more often than not. I'm guessing I'll be more productive here once I put the school year to bed. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Civic Duty in a Corrupt Place

Well, off to vote I went today, though I'm not really sure why. You can spare me the flag waving and the trite sayings about what a privilege it is, how it's our American duty to hit the polls, and all that. My party here offers nothing new that's worth getting excited about. After all this valley and county have been through in the past few years in terms of corruption and big names going to prison I'm filled with disgust at the whole process and more jaded than ever about politics in general.

I voted for two person among a cast of mostly unknown and unsavory characters - a guy I went to college with, and the relative of a person with whom I work and whom I respect.

I voted against the incumbent mayor who has the warm personality of a malignant tumor and an arrogance such as I can't remember in any other mayor we've had since I started voting. He has to have his name painted on just about every piece of equipment the city owns, and how is that expense justified? Everybody here already knows who the mayor is, and nobody from outside the area cares. I find it humorous that a neighbor (who just happens to work for the city) has a re-election sign for this guy in front of his house, but has the mayor's failed run for the Pennsylvania senate signs cut up and used as garden trim.

I voted against the single incumbent name I recognized as running for the school board. We've had more than one school director in prison lately for taking bribes in return for jobs and favors.

I saw not a single campaign in which anybody promised anything worth my vote, but I voted anyway. Civic duty? Patriotism? I don't know why I went out, but I did. So count me in as somebody who has the right to moan and groan and bellyache when the winners go into the general election and then, perhaps, public office to give us nothing more than the same, sorry junk we've been fed for years, all over again. I did my part. I can't wait to see them do theirs!