ODAAT: 
one day at a time…
Wednesday, 31 March 2004

Pix Of The Day: Revered Early Bluesman Revisited
CREDIT: © Stephen LaVere/DeltaHaze.com
WHERE: lower Mississippi basin. WHAT: blues music of Robert Johnson.
MAP: Mississippi blues. Thumbnail clicks pop-up source page for larger images.

Studio Portrait, Hooks Bros., Memphis, circa 1935 © Delta Haze Corp.Journeyman blues guitarist Eric Clapton released an album on 23 March 2004 , entitled 'Me And Mr. Johnson'. The 'Mr. Johnson' of the title is Robert Johnson, whose name often attracts the soubriquet 'King Of The Delta Blues', and he has even been accused of being the father of Rock 'n' Roll! Quite why Johnson has exerted such a wide influence is difficult for a non specialist to understand. There are only twenty nine surviving examples of Johnson singing and playing, recorded in two sessions in 1936 and 1937. On first encounter we found little about which we could become excited or deeply moved. Courtney Danforth and Adriana Rissetto have provided soundclips to eighteen songs, which are available in RealAudio format, many with accompanying notes.

Johnson's life was brief, cut short by what many think was murder, and it is recorded that his early playing elicited requests that he stop. He moved away from his usual haunts, and on his return his playing had taken on such fire that the story grew that he had sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads.

Photo-booth Self-portrait, early 1930s © Delta Haze Corp.For a picture researcher Johnson is an easy assignment. It is claimed that only two pictures of him exist, both owned by Delta Haze Corporation, which were unearthed by Stephen LaVere. The best view that we could find of this pair of images, without disfiguring copyright notices, was on an under-construction web page with the captions wrongly placed. Normally we would not refer our visitors to such a source, but needs must when the hellhounds are in pursuit.

The album cover for Clapton's 'Me And Mr. Johnson' contains visual clues and echoes that lead neatly into this present feature.

Many have speculated about the outcome for the music if Johnson had lived into old age. Tucker Smallwood has recorded an album based on such conjecture. Our own view is that without the cachet of an early death reinforced by a presumption of failure and suffering, and had there been a larger oeuvre for appraisal, Johnson may have suffered the same fate as Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee in a later revival, dismissed as extensively mainstream therefore less windswept and interesting.

For a more reliable critical opinion we recommend AllMusic.com for both Johnson and Clapton. For detail the Delta Haze Johnson section is a good start, with some interesting material at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Notebooks for Robert Johnson, and Larry's DeltaBluesman.com web site. Johnson's birthplace was declared one of Mississippi's ten most threatened historical sites in 2003, though the assumed site of his first burial place seems safe enough. Background on Blues music from a Johnson perspective may be found on the 'Trail of the Hellhound' web site.

Tuesday, 30 March 2004

Pix Of The Day: Technicians Working In The Dark
CREDIT: © Photoshot/Photoshot.com
WHERE: London, England. WHAT: the work of photo technicians.
Thumbnail click pops-up source pages with larger image.

Charles James Evening Dresses, 1948 © Cecil Beaton Archive, courtesy Sotheby'sSome photographers, Ansel Adams was a well known example, insist on controlling the whole process from the shutter being fired until the final print is hung. To do so has become something of a touchstone, so that we know of one famous photographer who claims to do so, but does in fact send out his color printing, though in fairness he is a master printer capable of doing the work. Other photographers are more up-front, and when appropriate will often publicly acknowledge the other members of their virtual team.

Today's picture is by Cecil Beaton, and illustrates the work of Bob Wiskin and Terry Davis who are the company 'Grade One Photographic', which was awarded the job of reprinting all Beaton's work. You may read about the two technicians, along with their recollections of some famous photographers from their days with 'Vogue' magazine: an interesting look behind the façade of the industry.

Norman Parkinson, whom we featured recently, once said, "A photographer without a magazine behind him is like a farmer without fields." Readers who are interested in the world of fashion photography may enjoy a piece by Aidan O'Rourke, which presents an overview of the history of the discipline with example images to illustrate the development of various styles up to the present day. Some of the famous fashion photographers in Aidan's piece have already appeared here, and we will be featuring the work of several of the remainder over the next few weeks.

Monday, 29 March 2004

Pix Of The Day: Go Slow When The Air Is Rarefied
CREDIT: © Royal Geographical Society/ImagingEverest.RGS.org
WHERE: Mount Everest, Nepal. WHAT: pictures from nine British expeditions.
MAP: Nepal. Thumbnail click pops-up larger image.

Tenzing Norgay Mount Everest Summit © Royal Geographical SocietyThis is the introductory paragraph from the RGS [Royal Geographical Society] special feature 'Imaging Everest':

To mark the anniversary of the first ascent of Mt. Everest on May 29, 1953, the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) in conjunction with the British Council in Nepal has created an exhibition called 'Imaging Everest' from its collection of approximately 20,000 photographs taken on the nine Mt. Everest Expeditions between 1921 and 1953. These expeditions were jointly organized by the Royal Geographical Society and the Alpine Club.


The image of Tenzing Norgay on the summit of the world's highest mountain is both fitting and familiar as a masthead for the RGS-IBG exhibition. The sum of the parts put together by Joanna Wright, Curator of Photography at the RGS-IBG, for the slide show presentation alongside some supporting material, is worthy of an extended visit. Unfortunately the way the pages are implemented, in conjunction with bloated file sizes for relatively small image dimensions, means that page load times are as glacial as the scenes depicted. We yearned to be allowed to make a slick gallery.

The frustrating slowness is redeemed by the historical rarity of many of the images, and the opportunity to see them together as a coherent collection. Our favorite picture shows Shipton, Ward, and Murray bathing in the Arun river under umbrellas!

Sunday, 28 March 2004

Pix Of The Day: Pump It Up For Lincoln Highway
CREDIT: © Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor/LHHC.org
WHERE: Pennsylvania, USA. WHAT: Lincoln Highway Pump Parade.
Thumbnail click pops-up source page with larger images.

Tole Pump © Carol Wood & Regis KirbyWe were amazed to discover that within the pages of this august tome there is but a single reference to the Lincoln Highway [LH], the first identifiable transcontinental road to connect New York City with San Francisco. The shortcoming will be remedied in due course, but meanwhile we thought you may enjoy a quirky introduction to the highway.

The LHHC.org [Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor] web site supports the parent organization's mission to promote the LH in six Pennsylvania counties. One promotion takes the Cow/Fish Parade idea, run in many cities worldwide, and with a deft twist turns it into a Pump Parade.

Our own choice from the twenty one entries [obsessives note that 'Vincent Van Gas' is illustrated twice, so your twenty two count is not completely awry] was 'Tole Pump' [middle row LH] by Katie Pospisil, which will grace the Travelers Rest Motel, Everett, Bedford County, PA, during the parade's ten year life span. The People's Choice winner was 'Forever In Our Hearts' [middle row RH], by Carol Wood & Regis Kirby, which will be displayed outside Route 30 Antiques, Central City, Somerset County, PA.

Part of the reason for this popular choice must be connected with a famous landmark in the Allegheny Mountains, the remarkable viewpoint at the Ship Hotel. You may also read how the Coffee Pot landmark was moved and restored.

Persons fired with enthusiasm for the Pump Parade promotional idea should go to web pages at TheThemeFactory.com of Philadelphia, suppliers of 'Uncommon Resources for Spectacular Events'. Whatever will they think of next? We can hardly wait!

Saturday, March 27 2004

Pix Of The Day: High Art & Low Gravitas Stilton
CREDIT: © Matt Barnes/CheeseOnTour.com
WHERE: Bretton Hall, Wakefield-Barnsley, Yorkshire, England. WHAT: sculpture park.
MAP: Bretton Hall. Thumbnail click pops-up source page with larger image.

Cheesy Maraj © Pete/CheeseOnTour.comAfter we featured the work of Igor Moraj, following a visit to the YSP [Yorkshire Sculpture Park] by Peter Turner, an alert reader informed us that the 'Heroes of Light' have developed a taste for what John Cleese, between clenched teeth in a Monty Python sketch, referred to as "cheesy comestibles".

Specifically, when caught on camera by a reporter known only as 'Pete', eating nothing less than 'The King of Cheeses', Blue Stilton! Other park denizens, including a flying man and a pig, have developed a similar eating habit. Where will it all end?

Friday, 26 March 2004

Pix Of The Day: Rolled, Dressed, Drowned & Stoned
CREDITS [L to R]: © [1-3] Staley+Wise Gallery/StaleyWise.com
© [4-5] Joseph Bellows Gallery/JosephBellows.com
WHERE: originally London, England. WHAT: photographs by Norman Parkinson.
Thumbnail clicks [1][2][3][4][5] pop-up larger images.
How to kill five stones with one bird, 1964 © Staley+Wise GalleryBianca Mosca Check Coat, Anne Chambers 1949 © Staley+Wise GalleryNorman Parkinson Self Portrait © Staley+Wise GalleryUntitled 1 © Joseph Bellows GalleryHow to Kill Five Stones with One Bird, Queen Sitting, April 22, 1964 © Joseph Bellows Gallery
Norman Parkinson (1913-1990), with Cecil Beaton and David Bailey, was a leading photographer of British society. Online we visited [1][2][3] Staley+Wise, with premises on Broadway, New York, NY, and [4][5] Joseph Bellows, the La Jolla, CA, based company, both of which are specialist photograph dealers.

When we were researching today's feature we saw the right hand picture of the Rolling Stones before we saw the left hand picture. Both share a very similar title, 'How To Kill Five Stones With One Bird', both were taken in 1964, and both look as if they were taken at the same session. The title only makes sense after one has seen the picture of the Stones under the table… are they meant to be seen as a pair? is one incorrectly titled? We have no way to find the answers - anyone else know?

There is a comprehensive collection of Parkinson portraits at the NPG [National Portrait Gallery], though these are less than generously sized, which is the way with most NPG resources. Perhaps the public sector culture is less generous than the private sector with freebies for the masses, though if you can afford the fee scale the NPG will jump through hoops. Clearly we are naive in such matters, because we thought it would have been the other way round. Good to know that in the best tradition of the parable of the talents, the servants are growing the tax pounds.

Thursday, 25 March 2004

Pix Of The Day: William Mortensen, A Manipulator
CREDIT: © Stuart Vail/TheScreamOnline.com
WHERE: online magazine for art, photography & literature. WHAT: William Mortensen.
Thumbnail clicks [1][2][3][4][5] pop-up source pages with larger images.
The Lawyer © Robert Balcomb CollectionGalileo © Robert Balcomb CollectionPouring Milk © Robert Balcomb CollectionNiccolo Machiavelli © Robert Balcomb CollectionVan Rijn © Robert Balcomb Collection
William Mortensen (1897-1965) was an influential photographer, experimenter, and innovator. He ran a photographic school in Laguna Beach, California, and many of his pupils went on to champion his philosophy and methods. Even today, digital image manipulators such as Peter Balazsy echo Mortensen's texture and screen techniques, and in the photo-optical world there are companies like Texturefects supplying materials to photo printers to perform processes that were pioneered by Mortensen.

Critical acclaim has been far from universal, however, and a cursory examination of the evidence offered by four online [1][2][3][4] archive galleries at the GEH [George Eastman House] online museum does not make a persuasive positive case, except perhaps for researchers, and the historical value of the Jean Harlow pictures.

Mortensen's work does still sell through specialist dealers such as JBG [Joseph Bellows Gallery], alongside works by such luminaries as Ansel Adams, or Brett Weston, whose supporters formed the core of Mortensen's detractors.

A two [1][2] part overview of Mortensen by Larry Lytle may be found at the online art magazine TheScreamOnline.com where there are also two [1][2] galleries containing a selection of Mortensen images. It was from there that we chose the five selections for the thumbnail strip. The middle image, entitled 'Pouring Milk' is also discussed in a article by Grey L. Silva at the PSA [Photographic Society of America], which offers an original Mortensen 'Metalchrome' process technical document in PDF format.

We would like to thank Gregory Georges whose book on digital image manipulation, entitled '50 Fast Photoshop 7 Techniques', suggested the research for this feature.

Wednesday, 24 March 2004

Pix Of The Day: Popa Chubby's Black Coffee Blues
CREDIT: © Anja Behrens/Live-Pics.de
WHERE: mostly Germany. WHAT: live concert pictures.
Thumbnail clicks pop-up larger images on source pages.
Popa Chubby 1 © Anja BehrensPopa Chubby 3 © Anja BehrensPopa Chubby 7 © Anja BehrensPopa Chubby 6 © Anja BehrensPopa Chubby 4 © Anja Behrens
If you ever tried to take a picture at a concert, especially one with lighting as opposed to just being lit, you will probably have been disappointed with the results. Take heart, everything was against you: light levels, light colors, distances, and the stances of the artists, not to mention lighting changes just as you fired the camera shutter.

This particular discipline of photography is one where few succeed. Today we visit Anja Behrens, a Damstadt, Germany, Konzerfotografien specialist! That is the only German word you will need, though if we wanted to strut our stuff we might add the sub title Ein Archiv mit Fotografien von Livekonzerten.

The site is just that: a visual archive of live concert performance photographs. Reading requirements in any language are minimal, though it might help if you recognized one of the following acts:

B.B. King, Brings, Bryan Adams, Burning Spear, Candy Dulfer, Company of Snakes, Deep Purple, Doro, Doyle Bramhall II, Dr. Feelgood, Eels, Eric Clapton, Ezio, Gary Moore, Heather Nova, HIM, Johnny Winter, Keith Caputo, King Crimson, Lukather & Winter, Manfred Man's Earthband, Mark Knopfler, Mick Taylor, Mob Rules, Motorpsycho, Neil Young, Nuthin' But…, Paddy Goes to Holyhead, Popa Chubby, Robben Ford, Roger Chapman, Scott Henderson, Spencer Davis Group, The Tubes, Tommy and the Moondoogs, Toploader, Uriah Heep, Walter Trout.

Yes, Popa Chubby was the name that caught our eye, too. We thought that Paddy Goes to Holyhead was a better musical joke than Mozart's K.522, though we are insufficiently knowledgeable to comment upon the relative merits of the music.

Anybody heard of B.B. King or Eric Clapton? Must be local acts, we guessed. You may catch up with Popa Chubby on the dedicated web site, and if you live in New York City you may care to try some Black Coffee Blues on the first Friday of every month at the Waterfront Alehouse on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn.

Popa Chubby offers a free download of the track 'Somebody Let the Devil Out' from the album 'The Good, The Bad, And The Chubby', said to be a "killer fusion of stone blues, psychedelic rock, and trip-hop that may be the best 9/11 inspired song out there." Also available from Amazon is 'Daddy Played The Guitar And Mama Was A Disco Queen' from the album 'How'd A White Boy Get The Blues?', however, a straighforward sign-in is required if you do not already have an Amazon account.

NOTE: the photo link on the Heather Nova page was broken when we visited, but the link we have just given will take you to the appropriate resources.

Tuesday, 23 March 2004

Pix Of The Day: Reinventing The Tram Wheel
CREDIT: © Robert Newman/TheTransportPages.org
WHERE: Blackpool, England, and Glasgow, Scotland. WHAT: old trams.
MAP: Blackpool, and Glasgow. Thumbnail clicks pop-up larger images.
Blackpool Price Busters Tram © Robert NewmanBlackpool Tram No.672 © Robert NewmanGlasgow Trams Nos. 40 & 812 © Robert Newman(a) Glasgow Tram No. 22 © Robert Newman(b) Glasgow Tram No.22 © Robert Newman
While researching a completely different subject, we came across Robert Newman's TheTransportPages.org, and in particular his two [1][2] trams (also known as trolleys, streetcars, or lightrail) pages. Recently the humble tram has made a comeback: Salt Lake City, the state capital of Utah, has installed the TRAX system; in the UK Sheffield built SUPERTRAM several years ago.

The first two trams in the thumbnail strip are from Blackpool, a northern English seaside resort that has long cherished its vintage trams. The three trams on the right of the thumbnail strip are from Glasgow, where as far as we remember all the trams were replaced by trolley buses: same idea, but no rails. The commercial advantage of trams is their use of electrical power, which offers lower running costs than internal combustion engines burning heavily taxed fuel. We are confident that if the tram renaissance really takes off the gubbamint will figure out a way to levy taxes.

Monday, 22 March 2004

Pix Of The Day: Repertoire Or Stale Repetition?
CREDIT: © Mark Meyer/Photo-Mark.com
WHERE: nationwide USA. WHAT: landscape photographs.
Thumbnail clicks load [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9] individual landscape galleries.
Sea Stack, Olympic National Park © Mark MeyerSalt Formations, Death Valley National Park © Mark MeyerPresque Isle River, Porcupine Mountains, Michigan Upper Peninsula © Mark MeyerGulf of Mexico, Santa Rosa Island, Florida © Mark MeyerSilicified Trees in Winter, Yellowstone National Park © Mark MeyerBuckingham Fountain, Chicago, Illinois © Mark MeyerWindmill Farm with Cloud, Wyoming © Mark MeyerChicago Lighthouse, Chicago, Illinois © Mark MeyerChicago Buildings, Chicago, Illinois © Mark Meyer
Today we look at the work of Mark Meyer, in particular at his 'landscape' pictures and an essay he wrote entitled 'Landscape Photography Repertoire: Reshooting the American landscape—again'. You may have noticed that here we feature a high proportion of pictures that might be loosely categorized as 'landscapes'. The issues Mark raises are ones we think about constantly: a good read on the subject.

Mark is well qualified to write on this subject, based on his work for such illustrious clients as the National Geographic Society, Backpacker Magazine, and Places Magazine. The seventh shot in today's thumbnail strip was chosen for the cover of Practical Photography editor William Cheung's book 'Camera Craft: Landscapes'.

Some of Mark's insider 'revelations' may surprise some readers, though the phenomenon is as commonly human as an overworked housewife's menu rota, or that boring old couple who always tell you the same holiday story whenever Las Vegas can be worked into the conversation. Uncomfortably close to home for us, and we think we should change the subject before it swings back round to our own picture selections.

We had considerable trouble trying to make a selection for today's thumbnail strip. Finally we decided to use one tiny thumbnail for each of Mark's galleries that appear on his image browsing page and contain those loosely classified 'landscape' category pictures. So left to right there are five regions of the USA:

[1] Northwest; [2] Southwest; [3] Midwest; [4] Eastern; [5] Rocky Mountains; these are followed by [6] Urban Landscape Photographs; [7] Natural Landscape Photographs; [8] Chicago Landmarks; and [9] Chicago Cityscapes.

Many web browsers will give you a location caption if you hover the mouse over an individual thumbnail. Click the thumbnails or the numbered links to go to a gallery and begin your investigation. Each gallery has sub sections, so you will be able to spend lots of time deciding into which category Mark's work falls: repertoire, stale repetition, or as we think, vigorous fresh creativity. We have signed on for email updates!

Sunday, 21 March 2004

Pix Of The Day: Desperately Seeking Igor Mitoraj
CREDITS: see specific details in the main text.
WHERE: various locations worldwide. WHAT: art works by Igor Mitoraj.
Thumbnail clicks pop-up pages from source [1][2][3][5] sites/larger [4] image.
Doppia Testa Bendata © Peter FemertMoonlight Venezia (Particular) © Stefano ContiniIgor Mitoraj w swojej pracowni w Pietrasanta © Urszula Usakowska WolffEros Bendato © Associazione Culturale SinestesieCouple Pour L'Eternite © Jean Gabriel Mitterrand
Our search for works by Igor Mitoraj was hampered because we are stolid monoglots: it seems that the Continental Europeans are more ardent admirers of Mitoraj than the English speaking peoples. However, we feel sure that at least one of our visitors will be fluent not only in English, but also in Polish, French, and German.

Just in case Sir Peter Ustinov is not among our regular readers we have given URIs to Google translations where appropriate. The translations are sometimes hard going, not least because of the occasional guffaw-generating turn of phrase, but if we managed then so should you. To preempt accusations of ignorance, or at very least poor research, we should declare our awareness that 'Thsuki-No-Hikari' was acquired in 1995 by the British Museum, and that 'Light of the Moon' was exhibited in the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

For the resources we used in this feature, we have to thank:

[1] Geschäftsführer Peter Femfert at Die Galerie, whose domain name is interestingly The-Gallery.de but whose pages we had to have translated by Google. There are four [i][ii][iii][iv] galleries containing works by the artist.

[2] Stefano Contini's gallery for Mitoraj is an Italian site with an English version. There is a short biography and a catalog of works.

[3] Urszula Usakowska-Wolff for her page on the artist, where as they say we got the picture, but the Polish text defeated all the machine translators. We did find one, Poltran, that made a valiant attempt to translate blocks of the text, but eventually the effort wore us down, so we abandoned the job unfinished.

This is a regrettable, because this looks like the page most likely to be able to put us in touch with the artist at a personal level. There is an interesting set of images, selected by a journalist rather than a gallery owner, and now we know what Igor was trying to say in the lead picture! The page title 'Fragmenty harmonii' [Fragments of harmony] should have been fair warning. Urszula has a Mitoraj slide-show feature.

[4] The February 2002 archive pages on the ACS [Associazione Culturale Sinestesie] web site, which also has a picture of the 'Thsuki-No-Hikari'. We offer no translation for this page because its main offering is a link to two large pictures of Mitoraj works. There is a link to a downloadable file in MS-Word format whose Italian language contents we did not investigate.

[5] Jean-Gabriel Mitterrand's JGM Galerie, represented on the Artnet.com web service. The site is in English, and illustrates three more Maraj works in addition to the one we chose, one of them offered by a Canadian gallery.

If you like this stuff, and are lucky enough to be in Warsaw up to 25 April of 2004, the Warsaw Voice has details of a major Mitoraj retrospective containing over 70 sculptures, 25 drawings, and several sculptural projects. The exhibitions are at four sites in the city, and Warsaw Royal Castle has more information.

Saturday, 20 March 2004

Pix Of The Day: Eyeless At The Hall With Slavs
CREDIT: © Peter Turner/MaccCAM.co.uk
WHERE: Bretton Hall, Wakefield-Barnsley, Yorkshire, England. WHAT: sculpture park.
MAP: Bretton Hall. Thumbnail click pops-up larger image.

Héros de Lumière [Igor Mitoraj] © Peter TurnerAfter yesterday's visit to the 'Hundred Year Stone', accompanied by Andrew Leaney, we decided to join Peter Turner our host from MaccCAM.co.uk on his first YSP [Yorkshire Sculpture Park] visit. Just as Peter was intrigued & impressed by the piece 'Héros de Lumière' [Heroes of Light] from Igor Mitoraj, so were we in turn. Peter returned for a second visit, and you may also virtually visit the Sculpture Park on the official web site, or with Tim Jacob at TrentCAM. After you have had a good look at all the YSP exhibits, many of them much more approachable than some 'high' art pieces, call back here tomorrow for a selection of work by Mitoraj: we have some very arresting images on our virtual light table for you.

Friday, 19 March 2004

Pix Of The Day: Sculptures By Peter Randall-Page
CREDITS [L to R]: © Andrew Leaney/Leaney.org
© Peter Randall-Page/PeterRandall-Page.com
WHERE: United Kingdom. WHAT: sculptures by Peter Randall-Page.
Thumbnail clicks pop-up [1] larger image, or [2][3][4]source pages.
Hundred Year Stone © Andrew LeaneyRemebering Milk & Honey © Peter Randall PageWomb Tomb © Peter Randall PageBronze Dreaming Stone © Peter Randall Page
The sculpture seen in the first picture of today's thumbnail strip has been featured here in an earlier item, but with a different photograph by a different photographer, David Robinson. There seemed to be some confusion about the title of the sculpture: after we checked around it seemed that rather than 'Millennium Stone', the correct title is 'Hundred Year Stone' in celebration of the NT [National Trust] founding year. The confusion is understandable perhaps: the NT's hundredth anniversary was very close to the dawning of the third millennium.

The sculptor's own web site at PeterRandall-Page.com does not list the work, but it is mentioned in an article about him in the online Sculpture magazine. The other works shown [L to R] are: [2] Remembering Milk & Honey; [3] Womb Tomb; and [4] Bronze Dreaming Stone. Other works by Peter Randall-Page are illustrated on the artist's web site, and at the online Sculpture magazine.

Visitors to the English Lake District who want to walk in the area may either follow Andrew Leaney's walk route, or even try sail and walk from Les Allan.

Thursday, 18 March 2004

Pix Of The Day: Ace Cultural Icon Resurrected
CREDIT: © Ace Cafe/Ace-Cafe-London.com
WHERE: London, England. WHAT: resurrected biker HQ café.
MAP: London A40/A406 junction, and Ace Cafe directions.
Thumbnail clicks pop-up [1-2] historical or [3-4] contemporary source pages.
Ace Cafe, London, 1969 © Ace CafeThe Scorpions © Paul TrudelleAce Cafe, London, 2003 interior © Ace CafeAce Cafe, London, exterior 2003 © Ace Cafe
The words 'Ace Cafe', spoken to a British biker, have a similar effect to the word 'Sturgis', spoken to an American biker. The café of that name (the acute accent seems pretentiously affected for a word pronounced 'caffy' or 'caff' in this context) situated on London's North Circular (which translates as Orbital, Beltway, or Tangentziale etc depending where you are from) was the unofficial HQ for post WWII Brit bikers.

After falling on hard times, the cafe has returned to its former glory. Now its past and present are documented on the Ace-Cafe-London.com web site, which works on many different levels: it is a social & economic history tutor, cultural primer, and good time guide if you are so inclined. If you dig deep (once again, we wished there had been a consolidated picture gallery), you will be rewarded by a rich profusion of images.

Wednesday, 17 March 2004

Pix Of The Day: Long Legged Dane Tames Sea Wind
CREDIT: © Ian Davey/SuffolkCAM.co.uk
WHERE: Lowestoft, Suffolk, England. WHAT: wind farm vessel.
MAP: Lowestoft. Thumbnail click pops-up larger image.

Long Legged Dane © Ian DaveyLast week the Danish ship 'Ocean Ady' was in harbor at Lowestoft, Suffolk, on the east coast of England. Remarkably this ship has legs, and was built to install wind generator towers on the sea bed. Lowestoft is the fabrication base for the equipment destined for the construction of a wind farm on the nearby Scroby Sands. The project developer is PROWL [Powergen Renewables Offshore Wind Ltd] on a location that is owned by Crown Estates - loosely speaking, the monarchy.

OffshoreWindfarms.co.uk (a web site run by BWEA - The British Wind Energy Association) has pictures, information, downloads, and diagrams for those with further interest. We find it hard to imagine any significant development that would not attract objectors, and the BWEA discusses issues, albeit favorably as one might expect.

On his walk [web page content may change by the time you visit - if so check out the archives] SuffolkCAM.co.uk webmaster Ian Davey also recorded the construction of the generator towers. Lying in harbor that day was the Lowestoft built 'Defender', formerly the 'Al Majihad' when part of the Sultanate of Oman Navy, but now gifted back to Lowestoft as a display ship: quite a change from the Straits of Hormuz!

Readers who are really interested in men who go down to the sea in ships to lift heavy weights, may be intererested in a PDF format file available from A2SEA, the operators of Ocean Ady. The file contains the only picture we saw that clearly shows the relative size of the wind driven generators used in an offshore wind farm. Lifting the sections of one of those towers into place, then mounting a huge generator atop the tower, all out to sea even in shallow waters, is no task for the faint of heart or ill equipped.

Tuesday, 16 March 2004

Pix Of The Day: Old & New Bridges Over The Tyne
CREDIT: © Vbrox/pBase user account.
WHERE: Newcastle-Gateshead, England. WHAT: contrasting bridges.
MAP: Newcastle-Gateshead district. Thumbnail click pops-up larger image.
Tyne Bridge © VbroxBlinking Eye 1 © VbroxBlinking Eye 2 © VbroxBlinking Eye 3 © Vbrox
Recent features on bridges [1][2] in Michigan, USA, triggered a complaint that we had failed to fulfill our promise to feature bridges on the River Tyne, in the northeast of England. We thought we had already covered this location, but checking back we were unable to find a feature. Ooops! To make amends, here are four views of two bridges from the galleries of the 'Artist Known Only As Vbrox', who is part of the Norwegian contingent on the pBase photo hosting web site.

The first picture shows the most famous bridge, the Tyne Bridge, celebrated on the official web site of the TyneBridgeWebCam.co.uk, with interesting history pages in addition to the two pages for the webcams, one mounted on each tower of the bridge. Through the arch of the older bridge, whose shape may seem familiar to people from the other side of the globe, may be seen a newer pedestrian bridge whose official name is 'The Millennium Bridge', but whose opening and closing sequences have gained it the nickname of 'The Blinking Eye'.

Upstream there are other interesting bridges… but we are not promising!

Monday, 15 March 2004

Pix Of The Day: Camp, Paddle, Hike, & Bike, Utah
CREDITS: © John Telford (Holiday Expeditions)/Outdoor UVG [Utah Vacation Guide]; © Monique Beeley/Whitewater UVG; © Monique Beeley/Backcountry UVG; © Monique Beeley/Bicycle UVG. WHERE: Utah, USA. WHAT: outdoor activities.

MAP: Utah recreation areas. Thumbnail clicks [1][2][3][4] pop-up photo galleries.
Bighorn Sheep © John Telford (Holiday Expeditions)Weber River Kyak Festival © Monique BeeleyBox-Death Hollow Wilderness © Monique BeeleyBiker In Moab © BicycleUtah.com
We are busy doing some personal planning for the middle part of the year, when we will be entertaining visitors from Australia, and the United Kingdom. We thought it might be useful for anyone planning a visit to Utah (sorry, our spare room is fully booked until late Fall!) if we featured some local visitor information sites as we chanced upon them in our own search for ways to amuse our guests.

Today we feature a Royal Flush of sites, their common suite being the active outdoors. Each of the four UVGs [Utah Vacation Guides] has its own photo [1][2][3][4] gallery, where you may view pictures appropriate to the particular site where they are found. As you might expect there is some duplication of resources across the sites, but we thought as a set it was a neat way to address the different outdoor activity factions.

In addition to the photo galleries, each site has sections for Welcome; Destinations; Tour Operators/Guides; Commercial Services; Articles; Recreational Map; Geographic Regions Map; Calendar of Events; Home Grown Outdoor Gear; and Altitude, Climate, Terrain. We checked out all the 'Articles' sections, expecting to find 'Coming Real Soon Now' or 'Under Construction' notices. You may think we are too cynical, but we call it 'toughened by bitter experience'. We were delighted to find real content: trust us - stuff worth reading! We know 'Content Is King' has become unfashionable, but we think it will come back as surely as your old flared trousers. The 'Calendar of Events' even had events and dates. We will be checking back regularly for quality control.

Sunday, 14 March 2004

Pix Of The Day: Walking The Strait On Labor Day
CREDIT: © Thomas Campbell/personal pages.
WHERE: Mackinac Bridge, Michigan, USA. WHAT: annual Labor Day bridge walk.
MAP: Straits of Mackinac. Thumbnail click pops-up larger image. If you have problems because of the size of this image, please use the source web page.

…And Still They Come © Thomas CampbellBefore leaving the Great Lakes region, we felt obligated perforce to take a look at the 'Big Mac' as the Mackinac Bridge is known. Readers who visited us yesterday, and saw the Keweenaw feature [bonus pictures in the item below], will remember that the Big Mac connects the peninsulae of Upper and Lower Michigan across the Straits of Mackinac. The correct pronunciation of this name is 'Mackinaw' to match Keweenaw, which comes as no surprise because the nearby town is both written and pronounced that way, though all other local features containing the name are 'C' pronounced 'W'. Apparently this has everything to do with turtles, and almost nothing to do with those warm blankets used to tailor shirts and jackets!

When it was opened, on 01 November 1957, the Big Mac was the longest suspension bridge in the world. The official bridge web site has details, with photo galleries that include an album about the ferries that were superseded by the bridge.

[NB: the thumbnails on the Mackinac Bridge web site do not lead to the features, at least not using our system, but simply pop-up a medium size enlargement of the thumbnail - for the feature sections, click the section title text!]

Every year on Labor Day, the first Monday in September, half the traffic lanes on the bridge are closed to vehicles to allow a celebration walk to cross the straits. You may read about the event on the Michigan.gov web site with plenty of pictures from walks in recent years. The official bridge site just posts an empty page in the off season. Local newspaper the 'Holland Sentinel' ran excellent coverage, with what we thought was the second best picture we were able to find. The best is today's feature picture by Thomas Campbell, who can also take a straight reportage shot, but we think his picture entitled '…And Still They Come' is the most evocative.

Generally we abhor the cult of personality and ego that seems to creep into everything these days. We make an exception for today's photographer Thomas Campbell, for whom the 2003 Mackinac Bridge Walk was his first, and a celebration of his retirement from teaching chemistry for thirty three years at Penn State [which we thought was a prison, and may have felt like one to Thomas; indeed a life sentence for murder would have probably got him out sooner] University.

We so enjoyed Thomas' retirement celebration picture, a self portrait that he made while relaxing on the north shore of Lake Michigan on what would have been the first day of classes in the Fall 2003 Semester, that it now features here with our best wishes for his retirement. The most successful worker we know of spent all his working life on the railway, but drew more in retirement allowance than he drew in pay during his employment! We wish Thomas every success in his attempt.


Behind-The-Scenes Look At The Making Of This Web Site

A reader has asked if we find the image first, then write the feature; or decide on the feature, then find the image. It is slightly more complicated than that: usually we do start with a picture, but often the image that finally appears in the feature is not the first one we saw. Yesterday's Keweenaw feature was a good example: we had several pictures in and around the Houghton-Hancock area, and specifically pictures of the Portage Canal Lift Bridge, rail transport, and 'laker' ships.

Our final choice was made because we thought that James W. Herbert's series at ContinuousWave.com, 'Trailer Boat Tales 1998, Northern Michigan and Wisconsin, Eleven days on the roads and waters of the upper Great Lakes', was a feature length link that our readers might enjoy. James' picture was taken from a boat on the waterway, which we thought also gave it an edge over the others on our virtual light table. This does not mean that the unused pictures were in any way below standard: judge for yourself with three [1][2][3] pictures from three different MTU web sites [1][2][3] [Michigan Technological University] in Houghton, MI.

The same reader asked about edits and updates: yes sometimes we do these to correct mistakes, or to try and improve our moribund prose. Generally, read it once and you are done. If there is anything of substance to be added we will include it in a later feature, or do an update item.

Yesterday was a small exception. We realized just after publication that we had not provided a link for John Hancock (1737-1793), and in the interests of balance for the twin towns of Houghton-Hancock a link was added. The dash between Hancock's dates also acts as an almost invisible link to a John Singleton Copley painting of Hancock. There are a few 'silent' links scattered through the features, but these are usually to something we have enjoyed, but felt would be distractive for visitors.

Saturday, 13 March 2004

Pix Of The Day: Going Down To The Lakes In Boats
CREDIT: © James W. Herbert/ContinuousWave.com
WHERE: Houghton-Hancock, Michigan, USA. WHAT: lift bridge.
MAP: Gt. Lakes Superior-Michigan-Huron. Thumbnail click pops-up larger image.

Portage Canal Lift Bridge © James W. HerbertThe USA state of Michigan is unusual in that it consists of two peninsulae, joined only by the Mackinac Bridge. The southernmost peninsula lies between Lake Michigan to the west, and Lake Huron to the east. The northernmost peninsula lies between Lake Superior to the north, the largest freshwater lake in the world, and Lake Michigan to the south. Today's location lies on the opposite shore of Lake Superior to yesterday's feature site in Thunder Bay, Canada.

With a marked lack of creativity, these peninsulae are known as the Upper Peninsula, and the Lower Peninsula. Things begin to improve when one discovers that the denizens of the Upper Peninsula, often known simply as the UP, refer to themselves as 'Yoopers', and that the UP has yet another peninsula of its own, much more satisfyingly named Keweenaw. The defeated old Native American chief, who was asked if there was anything he wished for, may have wryly answered that he wished his people had been better warriors, but in the naming of places they had no equal, being far more creative than the overly literal names of later in-comers.

A waterway known as the Portage Canal, or Keweenaw Waterway, separates the tip of the Keweenaw from the mainland, but there is a wonderful Lift Bridge that connects the mainland town of Houghton on the south side to the island town of Hancock on the north side. Once a combined road/rail bridge, it is has now lapsed to road use only.

Hancock was named for one John Hancock (1737-1793), whose name became eponymous with a hand written signature when he writ his name large upon the American Declaration of Independence, in folkelore remarking as he did so, "The British ministry can read that name without spectacles…"

Houghton was named for one Douglass Houghton (1809-1845), Michigan's first official state geologist. Geology is important to the history and development of the UP: you may read about the first American mineral boom of 1843, following upon Houghton's 1841 report on deposits of copper, and iron, in the UP. [NB: DH was 46 at the time of his tragic death, not 36 as stated in the article.] Turnstone Geological Services Limited offer a 'Lake Superior District Regional Geology Tour'.

To explore this watery region, and view the Portage Canal Lift Bridge, what better way than by boat? For this trip our virtual vessel's master is James W. Herbert from ContinuousWave.com whose series, 'Trailer Boat Tales 1998, Northern Michigan and Wisconsin, Eleven days on the roads and waters of the upper Great Lakes', is a wonderful virtual journey through the region.

Many of the miners who came to participate in the mineral boom hereabouts were from Cornwall in England, where the tin mines were in decline. They brought with them the recipe for the pasty, a movable feast consisting of filled pastry. With a flourish that Hancock himself might have envied, we now direct you to Pasty.com home of the Still Waters Assisted Living Community in Calumet, Michigan, purveyors of pasties, and hosts to a live Lift Bridge CAM conveniently packaged, just like a pasty, in bite-size or lunch-box sizes. Looks good even at night.

Friday, 12 March 2004

Pix Of The Day: Lightning Bolts And Thunder Dawn
CREDIT: © North49Photography.com
WHERE: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. WHAT: exceptional meteorological conditions.
MAP: Thunder Bay. Thumbnail clicks pop-up lightning [1] or [2] wallpaper pages.
Big Bolts © North49Photography.comFarm Strike © North49Photography.comMorning Blaze © North49Photography.comDancing Bolt 3 © North49Photography.comIshkabibble Strike © North49Photography.com
You will not be surprised to learn that North49Photography.com is located in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada! The lightning pictures all come from an electrical storms page, and the sunrise, which forms the basis for North 49 Photography's business logotype, is from a page offering two desktop wallpapers - the other one is lightning, of course! There are sections for other meteorological phenomena, and even some seasonal pictures from ground level: make a thorough exploration when you visit.

Thursday, 11 March 2004

Pix Of The Day: California 'Range Of Light' View
CREDIT: © Steven Bourelle/SierraVisions.com
WHERE: Sierra Nevada Mountains, California, USA. WHAT: desktop wallpaper.
MAP: N. & S. Sierra. Thumbnail clicks [1][2][3][4] pop-up larger images.
The Minarets, Sierra Nevada © Steven BourelleLaurel Mountain, Eastern Sierra  © Steven BourelleOwens River, Eastern Sierra © Steven BourelleMount Tom and; Flowers, Eastern Sierra © Steven Bourelle
Today's four thumbnail strip pictures are from Steven Bourelle's SierraVisions.com web site. Left to right they show: [1] The Minarets, in the Sierra Nevada; plus three locations in the Eastern Sierra [2] Laurel Mountain; [3] Owens River; and [4] Mount Tom with flowers. All four are part of a collection of ten pictures that Steven offers as desktop wallpaper for download. The files are available in two sizes, 800x600 pixels or 1024x768 pixels, which will suit a wide range of home use monitors.

Steven offers his pictures for sale, and when we visited we found seven open galleries: two for the [1][2] Eastern Sierra; [3] Sierra Nevada; [4] High Sierra; [5] National Parks of the Sierra; [6] California Coast; and [7] Panoramic Images. Three more galleries featuring California Mountains other than the Sierra, Ghost Towns, and National Parks not in the Sierra, will we presume soon be made available.

The site has other features connected with the Sierra, including weather reports, a Daily Picture feature, and extensive webcam & other links. The Sierra Nevada is also known as the 'Range of Light', and the SierraVisions.com web site is a good place to begin an exploration if you intend to visit the area, physically or virtually!

Wednesday, 10 March 2004

Pix Of The Day: Letterpress Mounts Counter-Swing
CREDIT: © C. Christopher Stern/SternAndFaye.com
WHERE: Skagit river, North Cascade Mountains. WHAT: letterpress printing.
MAP: Cascade Mountains, Washington, USA.

Thumbnail clicks [1][2][3][4][5] pop-up source pages with larger images.
Pure Goods © Christopher SternWelcome Home Honey © Christopher SternPhiladelphia © Christopher SternGood Mornin' Joe © Christopher SternThink of the Little Ones © Christopher Stern
Our own loosely defined goal is 'an interesting picture a day from around the world', with all the terms within the phrase being themselves open to loose interpretation. So, although generally in this context we use the word 'picture' to mean a photograph, we are happy to wander off to view alternative kinds of images that might also be loosely described as 'pictures': that includes letterpress prints.

Today we read that Kodak, which grew as a vendor of silver-halide photographic process materials & equipment, has acquired digital printing assets from Heidelberg, which grew as an offset lithographic printing machinery manufacturer. The dollar amounts being bandied about were mind-spinning, but clearly there is a technology swing underway that has made a business restructuring necessary at Kodak. Please take a moment to savor the absence of the word 'revolution' in this feature.

The same CreativePro.com newsletter brought the Kodak news also offered a feature by writer John D. Berry about the letterpress printers Stern&Faye, operated by the proprietors C. Christopher Stern and Jules Remedios Faye. Looking at their domain name, SternAndFaye.com, we reflected once more what a big mistake the early domain naming developers made when they omitted the ampersand and plus sign from the system. Whoever retrospectively engineers a solution to that problem will no doubt make a huge fortune, and the gratitude of partnerships everywhere.

None of this is going to make much sense to you if typography and print quality do not sing sweet music to your eyes, and you have a high tolerance for mixed metaphors! Berry's article should help with the background technology… for the mixed metaphors, just grit your teeth and try to keep smiling.

Today's thumbnail strip shows five [1][2][3][4][5] letterpress prints designed and printed by Christopher Stern. Not included in the thumbnail set is our own favorite among all the prints on show, 'Typographical Horse', with accompanying text by Jules Remedios Faye, which is excerpted on the web page,
"When the horse was brought in, the room fell silent, for no one had ever seen such a beast. She was enormous & gleaming as the moon. Beneath her translucent, crystalline flesh one could see jewel-like viscera rhythmically pumping as if opalescent pearls gently rolled back & forth across the length & breadth of her wide torso…"
Nice to see that the web site designer, Amy E. Redmond, is also given due credit.

In addition to the wide selection of letterpress prints, which are available for purchase at around $275 for a 17.5x24 inches limited edition poster, there are fine press books from $11.95 upwards, and notecards from $12.50 for sets of six.

Tuesday, 09 March 2004

Pix Of The Day: Faint Hearts May Also Conquer
CREDIT: © Andrew Leaney/Leaney.org
WHERE: Pavey Ark, English Lake District. WHAT: hiker-grade rock scramble.
MAPS: Langdale Pikes, Pavey Ark, and Andrew Leaney's walk route.
Thumbnail click pops-up larger image, or click for an Alfred Wainwright drawing.

Pavey Ark © Andrew LeaneyThe summits of the hills in the English Lake District may all be reached by fit walkers without any technical difficulties. The routes between summits, and through the district generally, present few problems. Where such problems exist they have gained local notoriety that would be out of place elsewhere. The summit you see in today's featured picture is Pavey Ark, one of the Langdale Pikes. The gulley seen rising from the bottom center of the crag to the top left is one way to the top.

The redoubtable guide book author Alfred Wainwright ascended by this route, known as 'Jack's Rake' though we omit his comments to avoid forming any negative bias among potential visitors! As part of a limited edition of AW's drawings, a Pavey Ark print is now available. You may also follow Andrew Leaney along several routes that include Pavey Ark, including one on 17 Sep 2003 to shoot the featured view.

Monday, 08 March 2004

Pix Of The Day: Less Can Be More In Photography
CREDIT: © NAME/MonoLandscapes.co.uk
WHERE: western USA. WHAT: 'Liquid Light' monochrome landscapes.
Thumbnail clicks [1][2][3][4] pop-up source pages with larger images.
Wave Walker © Peter J. ClarkEnd of the Road, Utah © Peter J. ClarkThe Fouke House, Bodie © Peter J. ClarkSandstone Waves © Peter J. Clark
Peter J. Clark subtitles his MonoLandscapes.co.uk web site 'Liquid Light'. We chose the 'American Images' section from the galleries on offer, and for the thumbnail strip four images that we hope represent the scope of the gallery, and also tempt you to browse through all the available images. You may like to start by reviewing a page we recently featured, 'Coyote Buttes', on Clifford Kolber's 'Nature's Vision' web site.

You will no doubt quickly detect that there has been a level of manipulation in Peter's images that goes beyond 'correction & adjustment': using the page navigation controls to flick [Next] or [Back] between those two pages will let you see what we mean… or could it be those Benbo tripods are even more solid than we remember?

Although we take no strong position on manipulation, holding the view that every part of the photographic process from before acquisition to after presentation contains some input from anyone who is involved in any way. It is just a matter of degree. However, there are those who think that at very least there are generally acceptable parameters, and that stepping outside those should at very least be documented. Few would apply such criteria strictly when images are intended to be art rather than documentary in any sense. The debate will probably last longer than our lifetime.

Peter includes a summary of his "philosophy of Pictorial Photography" on his 'Profile' page, which begins, "A successful pictorial image will stand on it's own without the need for title or explanation…", so if, unlike us, you do have strong views take them up with the photographer. Before dashing off an earnest email, we suggest you check out Peter's qualifications and experience, and read his ebooks, entitled 'How to Achieve Near Perfection in Image Adjustment in Photoshop', and 'Techniques for Creativity in Photoshop', which were co-authored with Dr ER Sethna.

Sunday, 07 March 2004

Pix Of The Day: Four Temples: Egypt, Spain & USA
CREDITS (L to R): ©  Richard T. Nowitz [pictures 1&2]; ©  David Alan Harvey [3];
and © James P. Blair [4]/© NationalGeographic.com, Picture of the Day.
WHERE [L to R]: Egypt [1&2], Spain [3], and USA [4]. WHAT: important worship sites.

Thumbnail clicks [1][2][3][4] pop-up source pages with larger images & information.
Luxor © Richard T. NowitzAbu Simbel © Richard T. NowitzSagrada Família © David Alan HarveySalt Lake City Temple © James P. Blair
Regular readers will know that we often visit the NationalGeographic.com 'Picture of the Day' feature. While browsing through the archive we noticed these pictures with a common theme: each of them is a place of worship of world class significance.

We leave you to visit the source pages for clearer pictures, and further details: [1] Luxor, temple in honor of the Theban triad Amun-Re, his wife Mut, and their son Khonsu; [2] Abu Simbel, despite the overpowering presence of four giant statues of Ramses II, was nominally built to honor the gods Amun, Ptah, and Ra-Hurakhti; [3] Sagrada Familia Roman Catholic Cathedral in Barcelona, Spain; [4] Angel Moroni atop the Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, LDS [Latter Day Saints or Mormon] Temple.

Both pictures of Egypt had to be severely cropped to fit into the thumbnail strip, and if you visit the source page to click on the magnifying glass expander, you will be rewarded with panorama aspect ratio pictures that includes a much wider scene.

Saturday, 06 March 2004

Pix Of The Day: Industrial Revolution Survivors
CREDIT: © Peter Turner/MaccCAM.co.uk
WHERE: Styal, Cheshire, England. WHAT: industrial heritage site.
MAP: Styal. Thumbnail [1][2][3] clicks pop-up larger images.
Quarry Bank Mill Entrance © Peter TurnerQuarry Bank Mill Weaver © Peter TurnerQuarry Bank Mill Office © Peter Turner
Much of the Industrial Revolution was driven by people of dogged determination: sometimes they had vision; sometimes they had social conscience, or religious fervor; oftentimes they were motivated by good old fashioned acquisitiveness, or greed depending on your own perspective persuasions.

From their endeavors, and the labors of those they employed, some industrial sites were developed that have proved so robust that they have survived in some form down to the present. Sir Titus Salt's eponymous Saltaire in Yorkshire, England, and David Dale & Robet Owen's New Lanark, Lanarkshire, Scotland, come to mind as two examples of surviving industrial heritage. We were unaware of the industrial heritage site at Quarry Bank Mill in Styal, Cheshire, England, until Peter Turner kindly gave us a conducted two [1][2] page web tour.

The three pictures we chose for the thumbnail strip show, left to right, the [1] workers' entrance to the mill, a [2] reconstruction of a spinning and weaving workshop, and the [3] Mill Manager's Office. Peter shows far more than we offer here, and when you visit his web site you will see amongst other things, the reconstruction of a two hundred year old clothes washing process… ahem… that does not look too different from the process and equipment we remember from childhood, except for gas water heating!

Friday, 05 March 2004

Pix Of The Day: First American Car Race Winner
CREDIT: © The Henry Ford/TheHenryFord.org
Thumbnail click pops-up source page with larger image.

Duryea 1895 © The Henry FordOn 28 November 1895 (Thanksgiving Day that year) the Chicago Times-Herald race was run from Chicago to Evanston and back, a distance of about fifty miles. Six vehicles started: two electric vehicles; two Benz cars; a Mueller with a Benz engine; and a Duryea driven by J. Frank Duryea. Four vehicles broke down in the difficult conditions, but the Duryea plodded to victory at under 10mph, crossing the finishing line just after 7pm, with the Mueller arriving just before 9pm, almost two hours behind the clear winner.

The full story appears in a feature on TheHenryFord.org web site. Also on the site, the 1896 Duryea has its own page, which includes two [1][2] pictures of the vehicle, a picture of the model that appeared as a novelty in the Barnum & Bailey [3] Circus, and a picture of the factory [4] assembly area where the cars were built.

Thursday, 04 March 2004

Pix Of The Day: Coltrane Monk And Mingus Posters
CREDIT: © Rosalinda Kolb/The Thelonius Monk Website
Thumbnail clicks [1][2][3] pop-up source pages with larger images.
John Coltrane © Rosalinda KolbThelonius Monk © Rosalinda KolbCharles Mingus © Rosalinda Kolb
Today we finished processing several Gigabytes of audio tracks by these three jazz giants. The poster artist is Hawaii based Rosalinda Kolb, and some notes on her work, which we found at The Contemporary Museum in Honolulu, say her current "…pastel compositions draw on her recent training in therapeutic massage, exploring the human desire for ritual activity and how that need is fulfilled in contemporary society": we think she would understand our need for a ritual to mark the end of the audio project, and possibly some therapeutic massage, too!

The TMW (Thelonius Monk Website) page displaying all three posters also gives contact details for Rosalinda Kolb, and details of how you may order posters direct from the artist. Fade out to the sound of Monk's rendition of 'Sophisticated Lady'…

Wednesday, 03 March 2004

Pix Of The Day: Cheese Ring & Hamburger Geology
CREDITS: © Charles Winpenny/CornwallCAM.co.uk Clifford Kolber/CKfoto.com
WHERE: Cornwall, England & Utah, USA. WHAT: erosional rock formations.
MAPS: Pool, and Carn Brea detail. Kanab and Utah-Arizona border area.

Thumbnail clicks pop-up larger [1][2] images or source [3][4] pages.
Carn Brea © Charles WinpennyCheese Rings © Charles WinpennyThe Hamburger © Clifford KolberThe Wave © Clifford Kolber
Charles Winpenny on CornwallCAM.co.uk has been showing some pictures of his home county under snow. Although snow in the southwest peninsular is not unknown, because of the warm waters from the tail end of the Gulf Stream it is a little unusual. The two left hand pictures in the thumbnail strip show the summit rocks on the small hill of Carn Brea, which rises above the Cornish village of Pool where Charles lives.

In his picture caption, Charles uses the words 'cheese ring', which reminded us of a rock formation sometimes known as the 'Hamburger' that lies in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness on the Utah-Arizona border. To see this formation we visited the 'Coyote Buttes' page on Clifford Kolber's 'Nature's Vision' web site. Access to this land area is limited to ten individual permits per day, a BLM (Bureau of Land Management) policy intended to protect this fragile environment.

We were amused to see in the right hand picture that out in this wilderness, which is usually pictured in its pristine state sans humans, a clique of photographers had forgathered for Clifford's benefit to demonstrate a collective noun.

Tuesday, 02 March 2004

Pix Of The Day: Motor Engineering Poetry & Prose
CREDIT: © Ed Henline/MTFCA [Model T Ford Club of America]
WHERE: USA. WHAT: Ford Model T pictures. Thumbnail click pops-up larger image.

1909 Mother-in-law Roadster, Ed Henline, Ijamsville, MD© Ed HenlineMoving on from yesterday's visit to Australia's VCCANSW [Veteran Car Club of Australia (NSW) Inc] featuring a poetic Daimler motorcar, we move to the MTFCA [Model T Ford Club of America] featuring a more prosaic vehicle, captioned as '1909 Mother-in-law Roadster, Ed Henline, Ijamsville, MD'. The MTFCA web site has eight sections: [1] Speedsters; [2] Touring; [3] Roadsters; [4] Hacks; [5] Sedans; [6] Coupes; [7] Trucks; and [8] Miscellaneous. Entries are also indexed for every year 1909-1927.

Monday, 01 March 2004

Pix Of The Day: Australian Motoring's Golden Age
CREDIT: © Veteran Car Club of Australia (NSW) Inc/VCCANSW.org
WHERE: Jenolan Caves, NSW, Australia. WHAT: veteran 1903 22hp Daimler motorcar.
MAP: Jenolan Caves. Thumbnail click pops-up larger image.

1903 22hp Daimler, Jenolan Caves, NSW, Australia © Veteran Car Club of Australia (NSW) Inc.While researching arches and natural bridges, we were directed to the Jenolan Caves and Carlotta's Arch in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Australia. We will visit that location on another occasion, for we fear our readers may be suffering a surfeit of arches and natural bridges. In our wanderings we stumbled across this fine picture from the golden age of Australian motoring, which in turn led us to the VCCANSW [Veteran Car Club of Australia (NSW) Inc].

The club has a rich photograph archive spread across three [1][2][3] pages, with members photographs occupying a further three [1][2][3] pages. Our featured picture shows a 1903 22hp Daimler at the entrance to the Jenolan Caves. Also to be seen in the photo archives is a picture, and a copy of the sale invoice, for the first car to be imported into NSW. Among the features on the site, we particularly enjoyed the amazing history of Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost chassis No. 1958.

A couple of minor grouches probably identify us as aging curmudgeons: we are amazed that having spent thousands of dollars, and probably as many hours, lovingly restoring these vehicles, that some of the owners then have a picture taken with a pug ugly sign leaning against a wheel; we also feel that for pictures as good as these it is worth the extra effort of creating suitable [1][2] online galleries that do not require rapid fire mouse clicking of the browser BACK button to navigate among the exhibits.

  
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Jules Laforgue (1860-1887)
"Ah! que la vie est quotidienne."
Oh, what a day-to-day business life is.
'Complainte sur certains ennuis' (1885)