Dave's Journal, August 2010


jpg "Born under the sign of Leo (July24 - Aug23), you shine as brightly as the Sun because you reflect the characteristics of that heavenly body that rules your star sign! You too are a ball of dynamic energy. You are warm, bright and self-motivated, and you want to make an impression in everything you do - your work, your love life and your social life."

Speaking of D (born on Aug 8) she is at the moment having an "upper gastro-intenstinal scopic exam" and is in dreamland, and I am waiting for the phone call to go pick her up when they are done.

I have been obsessively into making photographs and getting deeper into post-processing . . . it never ends, but I am having fun with it.


That is the structural arch of (very possibly) the oldest iron bridge in the US. It's 4 miles from here and is rusting beyond hope, and I have posted photos of it often. It was once a wonder of metal and bridge design, it once had a strong presence to people who had never seen anything like it.

the house next door is for sale . . . . hopefully some very nice person will buy it . . . it's perfect for, say, a single lady, let's call her Andrea for the sake of discussion, who wants to, say, move from the woodlands down to civilization (is that where we are?) . . . here is the listing page (search on "Leominster, 32 Doyle St.)


from the New Yorker . .

jpg jpg

Campanile di Giotto in Firenze (Florence)

From our Oct2009 vacation . . . . I learned how to correct perspective distortions and how to straighten up tall buildings and towers, and it makes an enormous improvement on the image . . . very dramatic structure . . .


Aug.07.2010 . . . dropped into Janet's for a chili cheese dog and rootbeer, and came away ever so happy.

Aug.08.2010 . . . Happy Birthday to Debbie !


jpgImprovements in Health Care

When I was a kid and got sick, my parents called the doctor who got in his car and drove to my bedside and made me better. That was 55 years ago . . . when we were poor and scraping upward to a better lifestyle.

Here we are today, reading this glossy pamphlet from GE explaining how they have taken my health care to a much much higher level than it was 55 years ago.

Today, for example, I can ask GE for a list of doctors they have approved as "high quality and cost effective". I can also ask to have GE assign me a "Lifestyle Coach" (which I should not confuse with my GE assigned "Health Coach"). The Lifestyle Coach will teach me that eating right, reducing stress, getting plenty of exercise and sleep, and avoiding tobacco and alcohol can make positive contributions to the longevity and quality of my remaining years. The GE hotline is available for me to call on my way to the local emergency room to confirm that in fact I really really do need an emergency room visit or possibly I can sew up my own severed artery using their how-to video on the GE website. If, for some reason, I can't get to the telephone hotline or cannot speak coherently due to a loss of most of my blood, they also have a blackberry port where I can simply text them a message and they can text me back an abbreviated version of my health plan coverage so (in my few remaining seconds of conciousness) I can make an informed decision as to whether I should die here on the floor or push the red button on my life alert bracelet and pay for the medical treatment on my own.

Butterflies and the Bridge of Flowers

Drove out to western Mass to visit The Magic Wings Butterfly Sanctuary (South Deerfield) and The Bridge of Flowers (Shelburne).

Magic Wings was something . . . a glass-enclosed tropical greenhouse with exotic butterflies just flying about everywhere all over (even landing on you !) . . . benches to sit and relax, a koi pond and a few very exotic birds in cages . . . great experience . . . my lens fogged up from the humidity and made some of the photos mystical.

The Bridge of Flowers was much nicer than I expected also. You can walk over it . . very pretty and in a peaceful little town center.


After some yard work, getting ready for Saturday's bar-b-q, I drove down to the Higgins Armory in Worcester . . . very neat place to spend a slow hour and read the little signs next to the various items. . . . and imagining being in hand-to-hand combat wearing 60 lbs of armor and the other guy is mashing on you with an axe or hammer with spikes in it.

armory armory
armory armory
armory armory

this is one of those journal entries that i will likely edit or delete in the morning . . . but for one thing or another, this topic popped into my mind, while the sauce is burning on the stove . . .

President Obama is making a huge mistake keeping our troops in Afganistan and Iraq. Both are lost causes, Iraq is the war we never should have started, Afganistan is the war we should have started Sept.12.2001 but did not and we got into it too too late.

We stay in Iraq because we destroyed that country and the "American way" is to clean up the sh#t you drop, but truth be told, we can't clean it up . . . a mistake . . . take the global hit and come home and let those folks govern themselves as they desire to.

Afganistan is only "win-able" in the minds of people who skipped out on high school history class. If you don't understand what that means, you are one of the people that i'm executing at the moment.

Addendum (the next morning): well, I guess we are not leaving Iraq anytime soon. Mike sent me a link to the Wiki article on the US embassy in Iraq, and it says . . .

A new embassy, which has been referred to as Fortress America, opened in January 2009 in the Green Zone in Baghdad. The embassy complex comprises 21 buildings on a 104 acre site, making it the largest and most expensive U.S. embassy in the world.

However, despite that crushing news, the day is going well so far . . . having peach cobbler and Black Magic coffee for breakfast.


Zach Died This Morning


Rest in Peace, Best Buddy

Aug.2010 will be continued on a new page.