Reach for the Sky!

Here’s a (slightly edited) photo I took of the statue, The Search, in front of our public library. It’s one of the only remaining large, publicly visible works by local artist Barney Bright. Personally, I’m not really fond of this statue. It is dramatic, though. The library’s currently using a version of this photo as its cover photo on Facebook. We thought about using the statue in our new logo (it is well associated with the library), but it was too detailed to really work.

"The Search" by Barney Bright

“The Search” by Barney Bright

On a related note, there’s a public art project going on now as part of the town’s bicentennial celebration. I believe there’s some pretty good stuff coming out of it. I’ll get some photos as things go up.

UPDATE: Turns out there are other Bright works still around. Apparently, even the Louisville Clock is back on display (now if we could get the Louisville Falls Fountain going again). I’ll have to check them out!

Advertisements

Headers and colors and fonts…

I’ve spent some time recently working on a header image for this site. I didn’t really like the default the theme was using, and I wanted something a little more memorable. You can see my current results at  the top.

I have had some design training, and I like working with text. It can just be a little tricky at times. For example, I use two fonts in the header image: one for the site name and another for the tagline. Originally, I had used a script-based font for the tagline, because I like scripts. Looking at it again this morning, I realized there was too much similarity between the two fonts. They were clearly different (to me, anyway), but not different enough. So I switched to a sans serif font for the tagline, and I think it looks much better. Continue reading

Created Equal

Here’s another photo I took a few years ago. This is the Memorial Building at the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park in Kentucky. Inside is a replica of the cabin Lincoln was born in. It’s a great place to go and remind yourself of all the sacrifices made in the Civil War to ensure that we became a nation of equality for all. I took this with my Olympus on a nice spring day.

Memorial Building, Abraham Lincoln Birthplace

Happy Holi Days!

Holi Festival of Colors, Utah 2010 - Chalk Exp...

Holi Festival of Colors, Utah 2010 – Chalk Explosion (Photo credit: jeremy.nicoll)

Today is Holi, also known as the Hindu Festival of Colors. Celebrated by Hindus worldwide, Holi is a spring festival commemorating the end of winter, good harvests, and fertility. Although not really a religious holiday, it does hark back to events in the past. Specifically, it remembers the story of Prahlada, who was miraculously saved from death by burning. If you’re interested in the story, Swami Vivekananda had an excellent retelling. I recommend reading it. In the United States, probably the biggest Holi celebration is held in Spanish Fork, Utah, at the Sri Sri Radha Krishna temple.

English: Holi celebration at college of engine...

English: Holi celebration at college of engineering adoor. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I decided to commemorate Holi today by wearing the brightest colors I could find to work. It was a challenge, because I don’t really own that many bright colors, although they are some of my favorites. We’re still in the 30’s and 40’s here, which is kind of unusual, so it makes bright spring colors seem all the more vibrant and unexpected. To be honest, this festival couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I’m so very tired of winter. This year, Holi for me is a major psychological boost! If you’ve never paid attention to Holi, give it a look this year. You just may enjoy it.

I’ve Heard the Bigfoot Singing

Foilage I n A Pacific Northwest Nature Refuge

Foilage I n A Pacific Northwest Nature Refuge (Photo credit: bterrycompton)

Sitting here watching a television show about Bigfoot  I’m reminded of a dream I had last year. I had gone to the Pacific Northwest looking for Bigfoot  For some reason, I believed they were related to me. I was in this small mountain town, getting ready to head out. It was a really misty morning, with the sun just starting to come up. Suddenly, I heard this beautiful, unearthly singing. No words, just really gorgeous close-harmony tones. I knew what I was hearing was the song of a group of Bigfoot greeting the dawn. It really was one of the most heartrendingly beautiful sounds I had ever heard in my life. Believe me, you haven’t lived until you’ve heard a Bigfoot choir. Even now, almost a year later, I remember the dream very clearly. More than I do the dreams I’ve had this week.

I still want to go find Bigfoot.

Stars Beneath My Feet

I haven’t posted any photos recently, but here’s one of my favorites. It’s an old brick sidewalk just outside our downtown area. I really love the details, both in the way the bricks are made and the way they’re laid out.

Brick Sidewalk

Brick Sidewalk

Sometimes I really prefer black and white photography. Color can be great, but for some things, monochrome just lets details shine through. I’ve got lots of other photos, taken with a variety of cameras. I’ll start posting more of them. This one was taken with a film camera, my trusty old Olympus.

What I’m Reading Now

The Birth of Christianity cover

The Birth of Christianity

Like a lot of book lovers, I’m almost always reading more than one book at a time. Right now, I’ve got at least three going. There may be others I dip into every now and again, but I try to limit myself to three at a time.

  • Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years (Diarmaid MacCulloch – I’m having real problems with this book. It’s not that it’s a bad book, it’s just so dense! There’s a lot of information in it, and it’s very slow going. I may have to put it back on the shelf for a while, or switch to the audio version. The problem with going audio is that I don’t really like to listen to nonfiction books. Especially history, where there’s so many footnotes. It gets confusing trying to keep up with everything. Also, I like to be able to flip back and refresh my memory on different points, and that’s not easy to do with an audiobook.
  • A Taste for Murder (Claudia Bishop) – This one, I’m doing the audio version. I checked it out from our library’s downloadable audio collection. I’ve read other books by Bishop, and enjoyed them quite a lot. This one not so much. I think it may be the reader. Some of her voice characterizations are really very good. Unfortunately, I find her presentation of the main character to be kind of whiny. The story’s good, so I’ll definitely finish it, but I may avoid audiobooks done by this reader in the future.
  • The Birth of Christianity (John Dominic Crossan) – Another in my religious history reading series. This one, though still dense and slow-going, I’m actually enjoying more. Maybe it’s the writer. Crossan seems to have an easier and more open writing style than MacCulloch, at least for me. Although it’s about the same length as the MacCulloch book, it covers a much shorter time period: only the first few decades of Christianity’s history.

Well, that’s what I’m reading right now. What books are you reading, and are you enjoying them? Let me know in the comments. Thanks!

Never Been There, But I Love It!

I was thinking today I should make a list of favorite places I’ve been in my life. Then I got to thinking, everyone makes lists of favorite places they’ve been. I want to do something different. I want to make a list of favorite places I’ve never been. So, in no particular order, here’s my list:

  • ImageTokyo: I’m fascinated by all things Japanese: from the people, to the arts. I doubt I’ll ever get there, but I’d love to visit Tokyo, even if it’s just for a little while. Ideally, I’d like to stay a year or more and really try to get into Japanese culture, but I’d settle for just a weekend.
  • Rio de Janeiro: Brazil is another country that fascinates me. Rio has such extremes of wealth and poverty, and such a mix of culture that it would be a very interesting place to spend some time. Besides, the weather’s got to be better than it is here!
  • Montreal: A little closer to home, I’d love to see Montreal. I’ve been told it’s the most Parisian city outside of Paris itself. Besides, Canadian French is a wonderful language, and I’ve never (yet) met a French Canadian I haven’t liked.
  • Berlin: The home of so much German history and culture, I really want to see Berlin. The new restoration of the Reichstag building is quite simply stunning. Besides, Berlin is supposed to have a fantastic gay community.
  • Haifa: I’m a major Judeophile, and I’ve always wanted to go to Israel, but not necessarily to Jerusalem. Tel Aviv might be too contemporary, but Haifa looks just about right. The Bahá’í gardens in particular are very beautiful.
  • Uluru: What can I say. Uluru (formerly Ayers Rock) is special. as Bill Bryson points out in In a Sunburned Country, it’s one of the most distinctive features of our planet. Aliens could use it as a landmark. Beyond that, I just really want to see Australia. In fact, if I could live anywhere I wanted to, it would probably be Australia.
  • Reykjavik: I don’t know why, but I’ve always wanted to go to Iceland. Reykjavik is the obvious destination. It’s a small, very attractive city in a small, very attractive country. I don’t know about winter, because short winter days really start to bother me after a while, but it’d be a great place to spend a summer!
  • Chawton: I know. What’s so great about Chawton? Where is Chawton? Well, it’s a small English village in Hampshire. It’s claim to fame is Chawton cottage, the house Jane Austen lived in for the last eight years of her life. I’m a huge Jane Austen fan, and would give just about anything to see it.
  • Istanbul: The crossroads of Asia and Europe. As Byzantium, the capitol of the Byzantine empire. There’s just so much history and culture here you could spend years and never take it all in. From the Hagia Sophia to the Golden Horn, there’s so much to see and do I wouldn’t know where to begin. But I’d love to try.
  • Cape Town: South Africa is another country I’d like to see, and Cape Town would be my choice of places to see it from. It’s the center of the Afrikaans language in South Africa, as well as an attractive city in a great location. 

So there you are. Those are my ten places I love even though I’ve never been there. If you have  places you’ve always wanted to go to, let me know in the comments!

Resolutions?

English: Two New Year's Resolutions postcards

English: Two New Year’s Resolutions postcards (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

New Year’s resolutions have a bad reputation. Frequently unrealistic, made with great enthusiasm, they’re often broken just as enthusiastically. In fact, those are the reasons I haven’t made any in some years. This year, though, I think I’ll make some modest resolves.

First, I plan on getting rid of clutter from my life. I’ve got far too much stuff in my life, and it’s taking way too many resources to maintain them. I figure if I get rid of just a little every day, then by the end of the year there won’t be nearly as much clutter as there is now.

That’s really the big one. I’ve set my personal 2013 Reading Challenge on Goodreads for 28 books, which should be pretty easy to do. I’m going to focus on getting my graduate school application done, and take some classes toward completing my MLS degree so I can keep my state certification up, but that’s about it.

As for the more traditional resolutions, I do plan on losing weight, but I’m not going to do anything special to do so. Just try to eat more sensibly and get some more exercise. That should help get some health issues under control.

That’s it, really. One major project and a few minor ones. Completing those should give me a sense of accomplishment that will help me accomplish more things in the future.