Posts Tagged With: Signs


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.

I don’t know why I took a picture is this girl. I asked her first. She looked so forlorn as though she didn’t belong anywhere. 

Until I got a point and shoot camera, I never regarded a camera as a frivolous toy. What fun!




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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.





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Quartzite, Arizona is a mecca for gem and mineral buffs as well as RVers. The gem and mineral show brings about 100,000 RVers to this port. It is then followed by a huge tent show of RV accessories. Suffice it to say, town is loaded with road warriors from all over the U.S. and Canada.
Ever on the lookout for some oddball sign, I did a double take at an RV Proctologist sign. Hope it gives you a chuckle as well.

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.

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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
$10,000 Fine
Lose Your License

Maybe BP should lose their license to drill along with their fine.

Speeding Maximum Fine $1,000
Reckless Driving
Eight Years

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…

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Switching directions, we turned north on the west side of Lake Erie headed for an island in the Detroit River, Grosse Ile about 90 miles from Sandusky. We had chores to do, washing, dump and water on the way to Art and Sue Lambart’s home, friends of Jim’s since 1974. Jim and Art worked in the same power plant at one time.

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.,_Michigan

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From Mary’s desk:
Signs have been around since 18,000 BC, if you count paleolithic communications on cave walls. Signage as we identify with it has been around since ancient times, telling people who couldn’t read where to find the bakery or lodging. And, of course, most ancient people couldn’t read. The concept of advertising with them more or less started with an edict issued to English pubs in 1393. The pubs were required to post a sign identifying their location for the official ale tasters. I have no idea why an official ale taster was necessary. Probably just a political perk. But, the ale houses began to compete for the most interesting and attractive signs until they finally had to make a law about size because the signs got so big, they’d bump people in the head and threatened to fall on people and kill them. Typical commercialism gone whacky. No surprise there. And, of course, signs are a must, absolutely important to all of us today. And they should communicate clearly, in this fast modern age, at a glance, what is intended. Some do and some don’t.

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.

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