February 5, 2013
We like it here in Port Arthur at the American Legion so much, we stayed an extra day and just lazed around. I’m reading a Mary Higgins Clark mystery and played with picture files most of the day. I have to qualify my book. I enjoyed her early books and then at some point she got sloppy and so formulaic you could guess the ending in the first five chapters. I quit reading her books.Recently, I picked up another, Night Time Is My Time and hey, she has redeemed herself. I get in the mood for mystery and true crime books. But, so far, Ann Rule is the best true crime writer. My recent favorite books? None are genre books. Night Whispers by Judith McNaught, Before Women Had Wings, by Connie May Fowler, Fortune’s Rocks, by Anita Shreve.
Looking back at pictures over the past few weeks, I’ll just post them willy- nilly. But first, let me warn you :
I KNOW YOU wouldn’t.
A beautiful sculpture of a local hero at Rockport.
Jim taking pictures on the streets of Galveston.
Remember the Naked Mermaid store? Well, they weren’t ALL naked.
I think this mermaid is drunk. I call her the floozie mermaid.
Getting ready for Mardi Gras in Galveston.
Quite a catch. These were caught with a rod and reel, when sport fishing was really a sport. It isn’t against the law here in Texas to pull your pick-up truck next to the river, turn on a big spotlight and shine it into the water, and net the fish up that are attracted to the light. Night fishing or frogging in every state I’ve lived in is not allowed, it puts the critter at such a disadvantage. Can’t call it sportsman-like. It is slaughter.
Another photo of the great Miss Joplin from The Gulf Coast Museum.
And exquisite glass pieces too.
Beautiful, aren’t they?
The way I look at it is this: I can’t afford beautiful glass like this. But, I can collect pictures of beautiful objects and keep them forever to look at and enjoy again and again.
I have a hard time to fathom the skill and technique it must take to create these pieces. There is a need for those of us who can only appreciate such beauty.
These tiny birds are not magnificent long-billed water birds, but cute little common street birds. I think I must like all birds, even the pesty jays, woodpeckers and crows.
Indelible impressions of the Texas Gulf Coast are the many boats at many marinas. The shimmering shadows in water, the blue, white, and gray colors. Lovely.
The black gold that put Texas on forefront of the economy.
This is a common practice to honor an artist who has died. Her paint brushes in the back of a turtle sculpture.
So, this is Texas. This morning, the Commander of the American Legion Post we are about to leave, invited us in for omelets with he and his wife and dog. Bar none. The friendliest post we’ve ever been to. What a way to end our stay here. Unforgettable. We will unload in Louisiana by the end of the day. Goodbye Texas, for now.
January 17, 2013
Yesterday, the sun shined brightly and we soaked it up. Jim worked on the mal functioning auto lock on the passenger side door of the Bronco. I washed a couple of rugs and hung them out to drain and dry in the sun. It felt good to move about and feel the sun on our faces.
We did the laundry and bought home-made tamales from Rosa’s on the way home. Delicious late lunch. We sort of melted into the cushions and read the rest of the day and just snacked for dinner. On the way home I saw a sign for a frame shop, Hall Of Frames. I’m often impressed by the clever names people choose for their businesses. I don’t always get the picture, but I indulge in clever signs whenever I get a chance.
This sign is in old town Gallup, NM, outside of a business near a park. I once had a small retail store and I understand this completely.
You don’t see one of these very often. It is part of General Patton’s Museum in California where they tested tanks and other war equipment at one time.
Others are just fun. (The blur is my fault.)
.In Tombstone Arizona where the waiters and waitresses wear guns, unloaded, I’m sure. The customers are not allowed to wear guns.
An ad on a T-shirt.
Stapled to a power pole in Bisbee, Arizona.
A cookbook for sale in a motorcycle museum.
This curious statement on a business window in Harlingen, Texas, intrigued me. Driving by it a second time, I found out the new business going in will be a bike shop. Can’t reason it out. Obviously something I don’t know about bikes and bikers.
Well, this one is easy to understand. It is posted at my Italian neighbor’s house, and she is a hoot.
January 14, 2013
We drove to Corpus Christi early enough in the day to find our parking spot and take a cruise downtown and visit an Art Gallery I wanted to see. Jim turned right instead of left and we saw an Eagles Club that wasn’t on Google Earth. We pulled in to say hello and found one of the friendliest guys you’d ever want to meet. And, funny, too.
His name is Larry Mills and we let him entertain us for the rest of the day. He is from Michigan, my home state, but he’s become a Texan since moving here in 1982.
He manages the Eagles Hall, here, and showed us around, though it was closed and we were the only ones in the place. It has a wooden dance floor. As a former square dancer, I nearly drooled.
A great hall, a great guy. We decided to alter our plans a stay a couple more days.
But, since we stayed in, I was remembering two signs I saw the day we were in the Brownsville museum. Both kind of surprised me.
This one is an old-time Mexican saying since the revolutionary days. With our intrusive policies, it still holds true.
And this one was an excerpt from a priest’s prayer just before a voyage. Cheerful, bugger wasn’t he? They should have fired him as their priest or burned him at stake, or whatever they did to people in 1596 when he wasn’t doing his job well.
Being on the road as much as we are, we see signs of all types and they kind of amuse or boggle the brain or leave you wondering what they meant. Like this one. From the road you cannot read the small print on the bottom as you can (barely) in this cropped photo I took while driving by.
This is the newspaper delivery guy’s sense of humor. Whoever takes the last paper is greeted with this message. The rack is located in Palm Desert, CA, a well-known vacation spot.
The door is metal and the temperature in Palm Desert gets into triple digits, and yes, the door was hot. You’d think, they’d install a wooden door, now wouldn’t you? We were wintering there and the temperature was in the high seventies.
This drive by photo needs no explanation. I knew immediately the sign maker was talking about Congress. Pathetic, isn’t it?
Another little choice bit of wisdom. Hey, we roadies aren’t waiting in line either. It’s a great lifestyle. Life is short. Come join us. Retire early, hit the road. Enjoy life, not stuff.
October 11, 2012
Politics, the spewing of hatred, verbal bullies calling names, the blame game, character assassination…divisiveness, what we need is some radical laughter.
These signs are authentic. Wish I had pictures of them. But, hopefully they will supply you a laugh break.
Note: These came in an email and I don’t know who to credit.
May 12, 2012
We are wrapping up our trip to Albuquerque, filled and dumped, did laundry and scrubbed up the motorhome yesterday. Today we move to Acoma, New Mexico. It has been a nice visit here and I often grab “drive-bys”, photos of something I see along the road, or sidewalk, just curiosities, or something that gives the flavor of a place. I must have taken seven pictures of this sculpture on an incredibly busy intersection before getting a couple you can actually see from front to back.
Jim found a website about it. It has been voted “Best of Burque” several times. Locals love this Icon and named it Chevy on a Stick. The story is, during a highway widening, the city that loves tile, built this thing at great expense and the naysayers objected to it. It is here to stay.
A huge band of colorful tile work decorates the ABQ Convention center. Much of the front entrance and some around a side entrance. Taking photos from a moving car is chancy, but I got a couple of decent shots.
The tile work isn’t limited to city projects. Many businesses have their buildings decorated with murals and tile works.
I enjoyed that aspect of ABQ very much. When you visit, remember to take a drive around town just to see the tile work.
And if you are going to close your business with gates, why not make them beautiful? This is just one panel of a gate across a business front.
If you want donations for a food bank, or something important, a casual way to attract money makes it easy. People don’t often know where to go to give to the food bank.
Jim engaged this “living sign” on a very hot day. She was sticking to the shade. We sincerely thought a person could die of the heat inside one of these costumes. She let us look and it is mesh and quite open on the side. She was dressed in shorts and a halter; still hot, though. We suggested she get a personal fan.
Until I got a point and shoot camera, I never regarded a camera as a frivolous toy. What fun!
June 8, 2011
We traveled from Birch Bay to Everett, Washington. It rained. We woke to more of the same this morning. Climate change is seeking revenge everywhere. Never a better time to enjoy a good book and cook soup. And, make plans for next year. New Mexico is beginning to sound like a good bet.
The book I just finished, where William Least Heat Moon followed highways on the map that are blue lines, was filled with observations about place names. He frequently asked locals why a particular town was named what it was; he sought them through rickety taverns, cafes with four calendars, hotels; he asked gas jockeys,children, waitresses, fishermen, and roadies to understand why people congregated in one place rather than another, and why they stayed. He swallowed and tasted the local food, wisdom, jargon, opinions, and names with pleasure and shared them with his readers, often helping pronounce the unpronounceable. And, signs also piled high in his vision.
I had the same fascination with place names as I traveled 14,000 miles last year in the motor home and another thousand or more in the “toad”. (Toad is the vehicle towed behind the motorhome). My penchant for making lists of rivers, sloughs, bridges, and unusual town names, plus taking pictures of signs, left me feeling validated by Heat Moon’s story. My sign for yesterday in Birch Bay was this one: “A meeting is an event where minutes are taken and hours are lost.” (Couldn’t get the picture.)
One from Heat Moon at Ida, Kentucky: Welcome All God’s Children: Thieves, Liars, Gossips, Bigots, Adulterers, Children. He said he felt right at home.
And, some towns Heat Moon passed through:
Bearwallow, Belcher, Subtle, Neon, Decoy, and Bug, Kentucky; Defeated, Difficult, Shakerag, Chuckey, Wheel, Turtletown, Peeled Chestnut, Only, Cooketown, and Nameless, Tennessee; Snowcamp, Silkhope , Swanquarter, North Carolina; Thicketty, South Carolina. Strange sounding names…I think there is a song with that line…It does make you wonder.
February 5, 2011
Arizona also has a number of nudist colonies and Quartzite attracts quite a contingent of nude RVers. This sign on BLM land warns you if you are sensitive to nudity. You may remember from a former blog the picture of Paul, the nude bookstore owner from Quartzite we met in January of 2009.
We weren’t interested in the RV or Gem and Mineral show this year, but Jim wanted to catch up with long time friends, Joan and Jim Belluomini, now westerners, but originally from New York. Jim was also in the nuclear power industry. He retired at 51 years old, just before the Nuclear Power industry pretty much collapsed, and he hasn’t looked back. The two Jims and Joan met in an RV caravan back in 1996. The Belluomini’s now enjoy Washington State as their summer home and wherever they wander, as their winter home, but they are considering going back on the road full time. Its an addicting lifestyle. Part of the joy of RVing is keeping in touch with old friends and you often do it on the road.
Just as we turned into one of the BLM roads to meet the Belluominis, Jim did a double take as he spotted his old rig going by. He was more excited than a kid at Christmas. He sold his Suncrest in September of 2009, and there it was zipping by. He only had Ned Bedinger’s home phone number in his computer. Luckily, Ned’s wife was home. We arranged to meet at the BLM camp area called Dome Mountain.
Here is Ned with the Suncrest. Ned and his wife, Jane were Peace Corp Volunteers in the 1960′s to the Phillipines. While there they explored Indonesia and Thailand, two place close to my heart. We enjoyed a beer and conversation. Ned invited us to his place in Washington later in the year.
The RV community is a friendly, engaging community.
October 2, 2010
There’s a lot of bull going around and that other stuff piled high and deep that goes with it. I’m finding an election year is a real turn-off. I just don’t want to hear anymore crap, nor any more pleas for money. Our election process and the money in elections is way out of control, especially when government isn’t living up to their own promises nor laws enforced. Don’t you wish we could fire them all and start over with a fair and level playing field?
My current gripe is costly government failures regarding the ghastly oil spill in the gulf. I’m mad as hell that Interior Secretary Salazar failed to require the necessary and in place environmental reviews before issuing permits for drilling. I”m mad that permits are still being issued and it takes a citizen’s group to sue Salazar and Minerals Management Serivice to stop drilling projects already exempted from environmental review. How dare they?
Then, during the clean-up, BP used previously failed methods to attack the spill. They used toxic dispersants that they, nor the Environmental Protection Agency, have never tested for how much harm they can do to humans, our food chain and ocean plants and animals. They had NO plan for how to handle a spill. They spent NO money on new technology for cleaning up a spill since the last, similar disastrous spill. They spent a lot of money on how to drill deeper and cheaper and get more oil out of the ground. Then, BP immediately challenged Obama’s deep-water oil-drilling moratorium. They’ve burned endangered sea turtles alive in a messy clean-up effort. Because conservation partners and fishermen promised a lawsuit, BP agreed to ensure sea turtle rescue before lighting the fires.
Interior Secretary Salazaar refused to turn over documentation of his interactions with the oil industry lobbyists since becoming secretary of the Interior. He should be fired forthwith and made to pony up.
Various states we traveled through, have very serious consequences for endangering others.
Hit A Worker
Lose Your License
Maybe BP should lose their license to drill along with their fine.
Speeding Maximum Fine $1,000
We don’t tolerate reckless driving. Maybe BP executives should go to jail for reckless endangerment of lives. How about 20 years without possibility of parole?
BP, I read is going to be levied a 19 Billion dollar fine. At the very least, along with the fine, there should be a stipulation, double for second offense. Then maybe they would engineer some safety procedures that work. And, all of the executives at BP should have to do 30 days in jail, just for a little taste of what its like. Give them a little second thought allowance for when they make their next decision placing money over people safety. And then a minimum of 1000 hours each, public service in the area they destroyed. Could be a life changing experience.
Sigh….if I ruled the world…
August 21, 2010
Generally on the lookout for interesting stuff from my window, I was reading an intensely gripping novel called The Juror, by George Green, and kept my nose in my book. Somehow, managed to catch this old Mail Pouch Tobacco ad on the side of a barn. Saw one unrestored a couple days earlier but missed it as we whizzed by.
An interesting sign on this building, but I didn’t retain what type of business it was boosting.
I’m glad I didn’t miss this bridge. Jim alerted me and from a distance it looked like a gigantic sail. A beauty.
It changes perspective as you cross over.
This bridge to the island is locally called the free bridge. To the right you can see a garden in the middle of the river before arriving on the mainland shore. People who live here can commute to Detroit for work.
Sue had a great dinner for us and we chatted over some 12 year old scotch until bedtime, outlining our activities for the next couple days.
For a history of Grosse Ile click the link below.
June 18, 2010
We all know that this is a hotel vacancy. Clear, colorful, interesting. I love signs.
This one makes it point. Its open and has pretty good stuff. Not a clue about what kind of stuff, though, so its kind of vague.
Now, this is an official street sign. You need to read it on the fly while driving. What exactly does thickly settled mean? I don’t live in this state so I have to think about it. If you have to think about it, the sign hasn’t done its job efficiently.
This sign is right to the point, Dry Goods. Its beautiful and huge. But, its on the inside of the store instead of outside? I think the proprietor is afraid it will get stolen. And, signs are often stolen. I know of a Pig Turd Alley sign where the county changed the name because the sign was so repeatedly stolen. Dang. I didn’t get a picture of it, either. And, I didn’t get a picture of the sign on Chappaquiddick of Whale Jaw Farm. I mean, what is a whale jaw farm? I would have loved to peek, but since I wasn’t the driver, I couldn’t be nosy.
This one is absolutely clear and concise. Nice
This one is clear as well. What I love about this sign is the figure. Its old fashioned. The short pants and socks are from the 1920′s. This came from Marthas Vineyard and will be replaced by something like this soon:
Ugh. No character at all. Efficient use of paint, though. I remember reading where some airlines saved a ridiculous amount of money by eliminating one olive from its lunch plate. Go figure. The state must have to save money too. No feet. No hair. Saving the taxpayers purse. We all complain about our taxes, right?
Then there are signs that communicate quite well, on T shirts, useful objects, sides of barns or whatever. People wear signs all the time and don’t think of them as signs.
Man’s best friend is often maligned for his normal bodily functions. I love humorous T-shirts and signs on cups and such.
I expect I’ll continue to take pictures of signs as we travel. I guess you can tell we stayed home and watched a movie, looked through old pictures and in general, took a day off.