Fiberglass cows. This one’s decorating the sign outside the race car track.
They’re not as glamor-seeking as the Sonoma County, maybe. Or perhaps it’s just that this one was in Edinburgh and it tends to be a bit less cattle-friendly?
The Netherlands, of course. There’s also a porcelain cow in the pictures of Delft, but … we’re sticking with the fiberglass ones. At least there’s some connection, with this one being in front of a cheese shop.
This one … was simply in the awkward space down the central well of a building.
Through the years we’ve done vegetable gardens, with maybe a few flowers thrown in as a row border or something. This year we’re really only (successfully) doing flowers.
I can catch the morning glories before the pods pop if I check up on them, but that’s just for fun, because there’s no way I’ll get them all, and I don’t want to really. The nasturtiums are just easy to find. The other flowers have already self sown by the dozens. This should be fun!
Looking through photos reminded me of what a different world we’re in, compared to just twenty years ago. In 1999 we went to the Netherlands, Germany, and France. We took a train from Amsterdam to Kaiserslautern but got turned around and missed a connection. So we found a payphone and called our friend, who was at home waiting to hear from us, and on we went. It was normal, before cell phones, to be completely at the mercy of whomever decides where payphones go and upon your friend being home, waiting.
It was also normal to take maybe a hundred pictures on a week’s vacation. We may have taken perhaps 250, but would have been cautious, because every one cost money to develop. And so we have pictures like this one, where I dearly wish I had a few hundred more from which to choose. As photos go, meh. As a memory….
When we returned to Scotland in 2015, we tried to return to the Crannog Centre (we first visited in 2007). It was raining horribly, the road was literally flooded out, and we gave it up. Next time, though, and we will have more than a film camera, shooting with expired film! (it was an artistic choice)
I will perhaps give the pole lathe another try. I don’t remember it very well, looking back 13 years. I don’t believe I will require a new wallet next time, though.
I’ve begun going through our massive photo collection & pulling things out of circulation. One can really only so many pictures of the same building, you know? So, how do you manage 39,000 photos?
In our case, it’s pretty simple, in a way. If it’s not a meaningful picture – doesn’t say something important, make us remember someone or something important – then it gets made private. That means, of course, that I’ve got to look at every single photo along the way.
So I downloaded them and am working my way through alphabetically. I’ve just made it through Charing Cross. Yes, the lighting all looks like this. Doesn’t mercury vapor provide a nice ambience? /sarcasm
Charing Cross is basically where we spent most of our time in Glasgow, simply because it’s in the middle of everything. It’s also a sort of weird place where people would ask for me to take their picture. They didn’t really even want to see the picture. Just to be photographed was enough.
Of course, for me it was also a great place for selfies, as there’s a building which spans the motorway there which has mirrored windows. I’d quite often end up stopped there & would say hello, as it were. Have a wee look around at the street view map.
Not quite the standard mirror-selfies. I’m sure I’ll find more along the way.
I would like to reflect upon one of the weirder jobs I’ve had: San Bernardino County Museum … person. In around 1990. In this picture here, off to the distance, was where I mostly worked.
When the highway departments carve roads through mountains & do major excavations they’re required to have the area assessed for fossils & such (there’s a requirement, I don’t know). So, the San Bernardino County Museum sends somebody out there with a 50-gallon drum, or maybe a truck, to take samples. They bring them back to the museum & lay the soil out on tarps.
From there, a handful of guys (because of course) take shovelfuls of the soil & run it through two or three grades of screen. We’d wash them in half of a 50-gallon drum full of water, getting all of the silt* out. We’d then label the screens with a tag made from a piece of aluminum can, scribbled on with a ball-point to leave an indentation, and set them in the sun to dry.
* If it’s clay, it might be run through kerosene first. This was only done by a Mexican man who refused to wear gauntlets (there were dozens, for the purpose, we all used all the time). His arms were white to the elbow.
After this, depending on what the paleontologists find, the pebbles and fossils might be run through zinc bromide acid. Basically, the specific gravity of zinc bromide is higher than that of quartz and feldspar, so they float where the fossils sink. After a day standing over the zinc bromide bucket, ladling gravel in and out (and occasionally boiling the acid, to concentrate it a bit), there might be 1/2 a cup of fossil teeth and bones, from some small rodent or lizard.
The museum has a comparative collection. That means they have a mass of varying species of lizards & rodents, from fossils through to present day specimens. Some of the modern ones are “collected.” This meant that the resident “Dr. Death” would take his slingshot on expeditions to collect some hapless lizard from a corner of Joshua Tree or what have you. And bring them back to be “rotted off.”
You see, the museum had at one time had dermestid beetles. They gave them food that was too wet, which gave them some sort of fungal disease, and now they no longer have dermestid beetles. So, to clean bones without damaging them and without beetles, they’re boiled and rotted. If you’re very unlucky, there might be a few cycles of boiling and rotting, as with the python.
After the animal is sufficiently rotty, you pour it through a screen, hose it off, and perhaps put it back in its bucket or jar for another go-round. (Don’t put it on the roof of the museum, in the sun to make it rot faster, with the lids on tight. Word to the wise. Was not me.)
It took me maybe 20 years to be able to consume a breakfast burrito, after the desert tortoise. I started pouring off that tortoise juice and instantaneously projectile-vomited the breakfast burrito I’d just had. I have never seen such a pure expression of vomit. No sound, no wasted motion, just efficient removal of anything that might at all be causing the horror.
I do wonder if they remember where they buried the camel, donated from the camel racing people down there somewhere. They determined that it just was a bit too much to deal with locally, so they buried it to let it rot more gently.
I wish we’d done more of these photospheres. Please click through to this one & get a feel for what they’re like viewed where you can scroll around and really look at things.
When we’re traveling, I like to use the big cameras, because the results are just so much better than the phones. Making these things, though, is something I intend to do more frequently.
A church in Taxco, Mexico. Just one of the several, as I recall.
We miss travel. No, that’s not right. We miss our friends. David is one of our David’s best friends & is in Glasgow. We last got to see David when we visited The Netherlands in 2018. We got to see both David and Laura & spend a few days with each.
We left Glasgow in June of 2012. We’ve been back a few times, but not since 2016. We desparately want to go back, to feel at home again in the filthy city, and see friends.
This is hardest simply because we cannot visit. It is not the travel. It’s the people.
Video conferencing just isn’t the same.