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I try not to bore everyone with dozens of pictures of the same thing.  I suppose the threshold for boredom largely depends on the subject matter and the viewer.  Anyway, I was going through old files and wondering about purging some of the old stuff off of my computer.  There are some pictures I liked and I hate to just banish them to the bottom of the drawer, so I'll be posting a string of unrelated pictures that didn't make the first cut.   
  • Listening to: My wife talk about the election
  • Reading: Visitor by C. J. Cherryh
  • Watching: nothing
  • Playing: W.O.T.
  • Eating: fried rice
  • Drinking: Mtn Dew
Sorry, I couldn't help myself.  They aren't great pictures, but unlike a lot of other abandoned buildings or old Route 66 structures that I've photographed, the mall is something I have a personal connection to.  I don't have any fond memories of the place, so I'm not sad about it's demolition and I'm certainly not nostalgic, but it is still a weird feeling seeing this process.
  • Listening to: My wife talk about the election
  • Reading: Visitor by C. J. Cherryh
  • Watching: nothing
  • Playing: W.O.T.
  • Eating: fried rice
  • Drinking: Mtn Dew
I have maybe 40 pictures from Catoosa Oklahoma to post, most of which involve Nature’s Acres and the better known Blue Whale.  Because of the volume and my need to post information with each picture, the will probably get posted in dribs and drabs.  I know there is some way to use Stash to get them all prepared and posted but I've had some bad luck with stash and I won't risk it this time. 
  • Listening to: My wife talk about the election
  • Reading: Visitor by C. J. Cherryh
  • Watching: nothing
  • Playing: W.O.T.
  • Eating: fried rice
  • Drinking: Mtn Dew
Despite the bad weather, my last Route 66 exploration netted a bunch of pictures I'd like to post.  As you can tell, I like to post some information with each picture.  I think it makes the photos more memorable, at least to me.  I'm been having a great deal of trouble finding information online about the places we visited.  Surely there is information out there somewhere.  I've ordered a couple of books that I hope will provide the information I'm looking for.  If not I may be forced to "gasp" go to the library.

In the meantime I'll post some other stuff, including (can you guess?) cellphone pictures!  I've already broken that taboo once with the History Museum photos, so now it just gets easier and easier.  Oh well.
  • Listening to: My wife talk about the election
  • Reading: Visitor by C. J. Cherryh
  • Watching: nothing
  • Playing: W.O.T.
  • Eating: fried rice
  • Drinking: Mtn Dew
I'm no great photographer, but I like to think that I take this more seriously than the average person posting pictures of their vacation.  Anyhow, I'm doing something that feels sort of cheap and below average.  I'm posting cellphone pictures taken inside a museum.  What next?  Taking pictures of pages in a magazine?  It bothers me.  The motel sign shots seem okay because of my past experience (or lack of) with that sign.  The rest of them are sort of a package deal.  I think of them as all being part of a greater picture, if that makes sense.  Anyway, in the future I plan to continue to use something better than a cellphone, which I think shows more respect for the subject, and I will try to go out and find subject matter and not just go to museums or zoos where it is all ready processed and canned.  
  • Listening to: Highway 70 traffic
  • Reading: Monuments Men
  • Watching: nothing
  • Playing: W.O.T.
  • Eating: Cheez-its
  • Drinking: Mtn Dew
I am proud to announce that our Missouri legislature is on the verge on some groundbreaking legislation.  In 2012 we tried to pass a law that would have mandated a three year prison term for anyone caught taking a picture of a tractor.  Unfortunately, that only passed in the House but didn't make it through the Senate.  More recently we tried to make it illegal for the police to confiscate guns that had been used in murders or robberies, but that got vetoed by our pinko socialist governor.  

But this time we have a real chance to make history.

Currently there is a bill that was passed with a veto proof majority that would eliminate the need for a permit, training and background checks for persons who want to carry a concealed weapon in the state. Convicted criminals who are currently banned from carrying firearms, will now be allowed to carry concealed firearms.  The new law would also expand the "stand your ground" law to allow persons to use deadly force not only in their homes but in other places if they feel threatened. They would have no duty to retreat to safety under the bill.

Our pinko governor has vetoed this, but we stand a very good chance of overriding the veto.

I can't predict what will happen once this goes into effect, but I would advise that you avoid the state until we can see what effect this will have.

The first time a mailman gets shot, everyone on my route will have to get their packages by waiting in line at the Post Office.  
  • Listening to: Highway 70 traffic
  • Reading: Monuments Men
  • Watching: nothing
  • Playing: W.O.T.
  • Eating: Cheez-its
  • Drinking: Mtn Dew
If you want to take pictures of the ruins of the Armour Meat Packing plant in National City Illinois, you better hurry!

I was just driving back home from Illinois when I took Highway 70 and noticed that something was missing.  I got off the next exit and went to look at what was going on.  It looks like it there is just one building remaining.  The smokestacks are gone.

The place really did need to be torn down.  I believe there have been some people killed climbing around the buildings in recent years.

But I really would have liked to have seen them tear down the old smoke stacks.  I didn't see a wrecking crane, so I wonder if they used explosives.
  • Listening to: Highway 70 traffic
  • Reading: Monuments Men
  • Watching: nothing
  • Playing: W.O.T.
  • Eating: Cheez-its
  • Drinking: Mtn Dew

Facebook hack continued....

So things get a little more interesting. I decided that it might be a good idea to change the e-mail password for my e-mail acct that I had used to set up that Facebook page. I did so without any problem, but then I got an E-mail from Yahoo. It was a confirmation that I had changed my e-mail password (which was normal), but it was written in CHINESE! I had to use Google Translate to find out what it said.

I didn't know what would cause Yahoo to assume I spoke Chinese and I wondered if anyone else had had a similar problem, so I posted a question on Yahoo Answers. I quickly got a reply to contact Yahoo Tech Support and was given a 1-800 # to call.

i called and was connected to someone who sounded like they were from India or Pakistan (not unusual these days). Still, I was suspicious and it didn't help matters that he couldn't pronounce Yahoo. He kept saying that he was with Ahoo Technical Support. He didn't ask me what my password was (which would have proven this was a scam). But he did try to get me to download a program called Supremocontrol. Had I done so, it would have been worse than giving him my password. It would have given him remote control of my computer and would have allowed him to harvest the passwords for any account or website that I used.

From what I've now read, when you are dealing with any free e-mail service, you are on your own as far as security is concerned. If the automated system doesn't help, they are not required to provide any sort of live customer service. Same thing applies to Facebook. Since they aren't selling anything to us users, they aren't required to.

I only had a few friends on that account (it was only for games) and I have contacted them by other means to advise them of the hack.

  • Listening to: Highway 70 traffic
  • Reading: bills
  • Watching: nothing
  • Playing: Skyrim
  • Eating: chili pot pie
  • Drinking: "Not Your Fathers Ginger Ale"
My Old Facebook Account got Hacked.

Way back when I first got on Facebook, I created a 2nd account just for facebook games. I don't recall exactly what my reasoning was, but probably a combination of not wanting my friends to be bothered by "game requests" and not trusting Facebook/Internet (and this makes it clear that I still shouldn't).

Anyway, I got an e-mail that someone in Taiwan had changed the password on the Facebook account. Sure enough I can't access the account, so i click the link "secure my account". I've locked the account and changed the password, but now I can't use the account either. I must either sign in from a browser that was recently used (Google Chrome with Windows 7 or XP from computers in China) or I must Identify pictures of "friends" from the account.

Since the account was hacked, it now has a bunch of "friends" I've never seen in my life. So the 2nd method is of no help either.

There doesn't appear to be anyway to contact Facebook about this problem.

I've tried searching the Internet for help on this but so far I haven't found anything, but there are lots of sites that offer instruction or programs to Hack Facebook accounts.

That account only had two friends on it and that appears to be a weakness that made it easier to hack. I think I'll look to see if there is a way to hide my "friends list" so hackers can't try to use it.
  • Listening to: Highway 70 traffic
  • Reading: bills
  • Watching: nothing
  • Playing: Skyrim
  • Eating: chili pot pie
  • Drinking: "Not Your Fathers Ginger Ale"
This journal entry is mostly to help me remember and keep track of projects I want to do. 

1.    Revisit Highway 66 from Springfield Missouri to Kansas.  After researching the things I did see and photograph, I've discovered that there was quite a bit that I missed and would like to see. 
2.    Return to Haypress manor in Illinois.  I don't know if it is even still standing.
3.    Falstaff Brewery
4.    St. Liborius Church at 19th and North Market. 
5.    St. Stanislaus Kostka Church.
6.    Del Taco Saucer, at Grand and Forest Park boulevard.
7.    The St. Louis Municipal Bath Houses.  I think there might only be one left, so this shouldn't take too long.
8.    James Clemens House (this may require trespassing)
9.    Update the "My Right Hand" project.
10.    The old brick water towers.
11.    Fear no Evil.  I inherited a chest full of dead turtle parts (yuck) That I have some ideas for.
12.  Return to the City Museum to take pictures of the various salvaged architectural ornamentation.  
13.  continue to locate and photograph the remaining train stations in the St louis area.
14.    Make copies of everything I have here on DA and post them on Flickr.  I've been concerned about the future of DA.  The big increase in price means that for those in other countries, the price is prohibitive.  More so than any other social network site, DA is spread out over the world.  Pricing out the majority of the world can't be a good thing.  A couple of years ago, 
CGHub suddenly closed and many artists lost their portfolios and in too many cases they lost the only copies of some of their work.  This past January, MajHost "closed for maintenance" and has not reopened and I may have lost some only copies of some of my photographs.  A couple weeks ago my wife's car got broken into and they stole a hard drive with all the pictures she has taken in the past 10 years.  I've read that putting files on CD's only holds them for half a dozen years before the discs oxidize and start to lose files.  Finding a safe long term method of storing pictures that are important to us is proving to be far more difficult than I would have thought.   
  • Listening to: Highway 70 traffic
  • Reading: bills
  • Watching: nothing
  • Eating: chili pot pie
  • Drinking: Mountain Dew
I spend a lot of time writing descriptions for my photos.  I know it doesn't look that way but I do.  I can spend hours researching (mostly on the Internet, but sometimes with books that I've bought for that purpose) and then agonizing over how to word something.  Seems that a lot of times I end up stopping and just punting with what I have.

So it can really ruin my day when I look at one of my postings and I find that the description has vanished.  

It has only happened maybe six times since I started posting from Stash, but it appears that it happened twice yesterday.  

Any of you having issues with DA's Stash feature?
  • Listening to: Highway 70 traffic
  • Reading: bills
  • Watching: nothing
  • Eating: chili pot pie
  • Drinking: Mountain Dew
For Christmas, my sister gave us a gift certificate for one night's stay at the Grand Avenue Bed & Breakfast  www.grand-avenue.com in Carthage Missouri.  We reserved a room on September 28th and extended the stay for a second night and used our daylight hours to explore the remains of highway 66 from Springfield Missouri to Narcissa Oklahoma. 

We traveled down most of the old highway, but missed some spots.  In Joplin Missouri, Route 66 took three different paths, so we may want to revisit there.  

In Kansas, Route 66 only travels 13 miles before entering Oklahoma, so the only part we missed was where we had to chose between going in front of the Walmart or going in back of the Walmart.  We chose the back route, so let me know if we missed anything. :)

In Oklahoma we traveled on the pre-1937 option (also called the "ribbon road") north of Narcissa.  WARNING: I advise that you don't travel this section going east to west.  Start on the west end and go down maybe a mile then turn around and go back.  There is not much to see on this section except the road itself and rest of it becomes REALLY ROUGH.  If you choose to tough it out anyway, please keep an eye open for one of my hubcaps that I lost somewhere along this section.   
  • Listening to: Highway 70 traffic
  • Reading: bills
  • Watching: nothing
  • Drinking: Mountain Dew
Several years ago a friend of mine passed away.  She was very involved in the care and rescue of turtles of all sorts.  I inherited a lot of turtle related stuff that I put into a section of my garage, but it quickly got covered up by an avalanche of my wife's ever growing collection of art supplies and equipment.  About a month ago my wife, with the help of a couple of her friends, managed to put some order into that section of the garage and Linda's turtle supplies came back up to the surface.

In the supplies were a number of jars of turtle food.  Box turtle food I can use, but not the food for aquatic turtles.  We then thought of our previous trips out to Busch Wildlife to feed the fish/turtles Cheerios and bread and we decided to do that again, but this time they would be getting something that might even be healthy for them.

When we got to lake #15 there was already a minivan in the gravel parking area.  A young Chinese lady (she had just graduated from high school) holding a smart phone approached our car and asked if we knew what the address of the lake was.  Her father had locked his keys in the car and they were trying to contact their auto service to send out a locksmith.  Her father apparently spoke very little English and though young lady was much better, but her proficiency was clearly being challenged by the situation.  Our friend Rita took charge at this point and it was a good thing she did.  The knuckleheads at the auto service had no idea how to send out a tech without an exact street address. A lake in the middle of a park does not have a mailing address.  Even though they insisted that a tech was on the way and would be there shortly, nothing happened for an hour until the young lady got a call from a tech who had arrived at her house in the next state and couldn't find her.  That tech managed to get someone sent in more or less the right direction (at least the right county and state) and the next tech managed to get someplace about 15 minutes away on the first try.  If Rita hadn't been there to handle giving the directions they'd have been there all night.

While they were waiting the young lady told Rita that she and her father were in the area because they had gone to see the UMSL college campus.  He father was sending her there to get a degree in Accounting.  She was not thrilled by this.  She confessed to Rita that she hated accounting and she wanted to study photography instead, but apparently, with her father paying the bills, she didn't see any other option :( .

So anyway, with Rita handling that crisis, my wife and I went out on the dock and started trying to lure in some turtles.  But the first to arrive were the bluegills.  We should have brought some cheerios to waste first, but then a turtle showed up.  Some sort of a slider.  Missouri has a lot of water turtle species, so I'm not sure what this was, but it had about an eight inch shell that was covered in moss.  It competed with the bluegill and now the catfish as well for the turtle food.  Another turtle of about the same size and another smaller one showed up as well.  I doubt the turtles got anymore than maybe five percent of the turtle food, but knowing the food chain of the lake, it is likely that it will all be turtle food eventually.

At some point a giant spiny softshell turtle showed up to see what the commotion was all about.  I've read that the females' shells can get up to 18 inches long and I suspect this one was about that big.  With her head and neck sticking out, she might have been two feet long.  She snagged a bit of food but decided it wasn't worth the effort and she sank back down into the depths.

While we were feed the turtles, a couple of children came up and asked if they could feed them too.  I gave them some of the food and they were impressed bu the size of some of the catfish that rose up to "vacuum" the surface.  The little girl mentioned that near where they were having a picnic, someone had left a bucket of full of live fish.  This annoyed me because this was a "no fishing" lake and so it seemed like cheating and wouldn't take any skill at all to pull out a bucket full of fish.  And it also annoyed me that they had then just left them there.

I went over to the spot that she indicated and saw that someone had left behind a tackle box and a five gallon bucket.  It was clear that the bucket had been sitting there at least all day, and my first thought was that the fish were all dead until i saw the gill of a catfish move.  I dumped the bloody bucket out into the water and over half of the fish that had been in it were dead. The catfish and four bluegill appeared to still have some life in them and when I went back to check on them about 30 minutes later they had recovered at least enough to swim away from the shore.  The family that was having the picnic washed out the bucket and used it to pickup trash and took the tackle box as well.

So I got rid of the old turtle food.  Took a bunch of pictures (i'll post a few here) and brought home a few chigger bites and one tick.  Not a bad afternoon. 
  • Listening to: Highway 70 traffic
  • Reading: bills
  • Watching: nothing
  • Drinking: Mountain Dew
  • Listening to: Highway 70 traffic
  • Reading: bills
  • Watching: nothing
  • Drinking: Mountain Dew
Today I went to Kirkwood Missouri to witness the start of the "Great Race" www.greatrace.com    
   

                       "The annual Great Race, a vintage-car rally and race that in 2015 starts in Kirkwood and ends, eight days later, in Santa Monica, California.  The 2,400-mile route travels along the original “Mother Road” sections of historic Route 66." 

It has been going on since 1983, but not the same route each year.  That might change this year if things work out and Kirkwood will host the start of the race next year as well.

Anyway, I took over 300 pictures with varying degrees of success.  I will try to limit my postings to a small percentage of what i took.  I should have bought the $5 program book when I had the chance because it would have helped a great deal in figuring out exactly what i was taking pictures of.  Oh well, my descriptions may well be limited to "Old car" "Not so old car" and "Shiny bits".  I'll probably post the "Shinny bits" all together. 
  • Listening to: Highway 70 traffic
  • Reading: bills
  • Watching: nothing
  • Drinking: Mountain Dew
Last Wednesday I called my dad to ask how mom was feeling and if she would be up for having some company on Mother's Day.  My mother has suffered from "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" for years.  She's so tired all the time and yet she has so much trouble falling asleep.  She rarely goes out and caring for her has become a full time job for my dad.

If she gets a decent night's sleep and can get in a nap during the day she is okay, but that became harder and harder to accomplish.  She has seen all kinds of doctors (and a few quacks as well) and nothing seems to help.  They have prescribed sleeping pills, but those lose their effectiveness after only a few days.  She has now, for some years, been taking a rotation of three different sleeping pills (all narcotics of some type) and supplemented them with a steady consumption of vodka.

So anyway I call my father, but he seems to be preoccupied and asks if he can call me back.  Then I hear my mother in the background and he changes his mind.  He said he would let mom tell me about the "problem".

Mom gets on the phone and we say hello and then she asks me what I thought about all that's been going on.  Huh?  At that point I'm thinking Baltimore maybe or more likely some local issue that I've been oblivious to.  I respond that I don't know, Dad just now told me there was a problem and that you could tell me about it.  So she proceeds to tell me the problem.

She tells me that a few days earlier she had been staying overnight somewhere (this was surprising since I don't think she has spent a night anywhere else than at home for the last five years or more) but she wasn't clear where.  But anyway a man came to pick her up to take her home and that took her by surprise because the man who picked her up was someone who worked in the same office as her forty years ago.  The man had apparently been keeping track of her all this time because he knew everything about her.  All the places she had gone and all the things she had done over the past 40 years.  And to make it all the more disturbing, he had changed his name to the same name as my father and was now claiming to be her husband!

Instead of taking her home, he took her to a house on North Clay (she has never lived on that street) that had all of their furniture in it and it was all arranged exactly the way it had been in the old house.

I told her that all sounded very odd and that i would come over myself to see if i couldn't get to the bottom of this.  I told her I would be there on Friday and we set up a time.  Then she told me that "the man" was taking her to the doctor the next day about a possible urinary tract infection.  Then I asked if I could speak to the man that was there and she turned over the phone to my father.  My father confirmed that they were going to see a doctor the next day about her "medical problem".  He said he would keep me updated by e-mail.

The blood and urine tests didn't turn up anything but it appeared that my mom was recovering and my Dad said it would be okay if my wife and i came over Friday.  So we picked up some sandwiches from the Bread Company and went over there.

My mom appeared to have recovered her memory and she said that she could only remember those previous few days as a fog.  She said it felt as if she had been dreaming and now she had woken up.  

Unfortunately as the day progressed she seemed to be getting confused and after my wife had left and my mother had gone upstairs for a nap, my dad told me she seemed to be reverting to her previous state.  

Things stayed like that all weekend, but my mom called a good friend of hers who assured her that my dad was her husband.  That made my mom feel a lot better even if she still didn't remember marrying him.

The good news is that she is not taking all those sleeping pills anymore and, except for a little wine, she isn't drinking alcohol.  As a result (my father thinks) she has more energy than she has had for years and is doing things around the house.

Dad is taking mom in for an MRI on Monday.  
  • Listening to: Highway 70 traffic
  • Reading: bills
  • Watching: nothing
  • Drinking: Mountain Dew
I just noticed that I currently have 999 deviations.  I find it hard to believe that I could have posted that much stuff.  Of course its just photography, but still it is a very specifically condensed collection of shots I have taken over the last seven years.  Well, also some scans of old 35mm stuff.

I guess the years go by and the photos pile up.

Anyway, I'll soon surpass that number when i post some shots from Archon 38.
It was kind of disappointing for me.  The best parts of the convention tend to be concentrated on Saturday, and since I had to work I missed them.  I did get a Sunday pass, but too much of that was watching people pack up and leave.   
  • Listening to: Highway 70 traffic
  • Reading: bills
  • Watching: nothing
  • Drinking: Mountain Dew
I needed to replace the "Cat" rant. 

Right now I'm sitting in a small, but very clean and neat, motel room in Cuba Missouri.  I've been taking a short tour of Route 66 in Missouri for the past few days.  On this tour we've been covering the area between Bourbon and Springfield Missouri.  We took a some pictures when we first got to Springfield, but exploration of Springfield and beyond will have to wait till another trip.

It will take me awhile to get things posted, but I've found it interesting how many old "cottage" motels I'm coming across.  I been down stretches of route 66 in Illinois and I don't recall seeing any except perhaps one that was near the Missouri border.  I wonder how prevalent this type of motel is as the route continues to the west. 
  • Listening to: humming airconditioner
  • Reading: Highway 66 map
  • Watching: All In
  • Drinking: Mountain Dew
You will never get a job.  Fewer people will want to be around you and what friends you do have might be reluctant to be with you.

I know you love your cat/cats, but that doesn't change what I just stated.   "But my cats don't stink".  Well what a coincidence, my S--t doesn't stink either.  Maybe you don't know that you smell Like CAT PISS.  I'm sure it's something you could get used to.  I have a smoke alarm and a CO2 alarm, but what we need now is a "Your Home Reeks" alarm.  There are ways to control the smell, but if you're too depressed or bummed out to take ALL the steps, then it's not going to work and that will likely make you more depressed and bummed out.  And if the cat/cats insist on peeing on the carpet or spraying the walls, then you have to decide whose life is more important: you and your family or these "pets" that view you with contempt.

I'm sure that all could have been said better, but it needed to be said and in a few days, I'm going to have to say it to someone who is briefly staying with us.
  • Listening to: Highway 70 traffic
  • Reading: Honors Paradox
  • Watching: nothing
  • Playing: WOT
  • Eating: cold hot dogs (no bun)
  • Drinking: Mountain Dew
I guess I'm behind the curve on this one since I think it closed back in April. CGHub was an online artist portfolio site.  It closed overnight with no warning for unknown reasons.  Artists lost artwork that existed no place else than in their online portfolio.  All their contacts and correspondence gone with no warning.  

Could that happen here?

I suppose it could.  DA is not Halliburton, Monsanto or Goldman Sachs.  Our regulatory agencies tremble lest they inconvenience them.  But DA?  Heck it sounds like a porn site to most Americans.  For lack of anything better to do, bureaucratic bullies could set their sights on DA to protect us all from unauthorized images of Superman or My Little Pony.

I need to back up my files someplace (or places) safe.  Last night I signed on to my SkyDrive (AKA: OneDrive) to save a document.  I hadn't been on for awhile (probably over a year) and apparently at some point my files got deleted :( .    
  • Listening to: Highway 70 traffic
  • Reading: Honors Paradox
  • Watching: nothing
  • Playing: WOT
  • Eating: cold hot dogs (no bun)
  • Drinking: Mountain Dew