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San Antonio Downtown... Night and Day


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01_11 thumb san antonio dome w flag


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Later in the morning

Staacke Bro's Building
(now primarily a hangout for the street folk)

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Mexican Manhattan...
and they serve what?
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A defunct Chinese Restaurant on the ground floor of a
building that might need a little work if sold
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Interesting Door and Columns
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Gorgeous Stonework
The building on the right is a Law Firm and it looks like the
Senior Partners did a little add-on by putting up the building
on the left

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'Love the Three Indians keeping an eye on what's going on below them
(click on the image for a closer view)
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Probably not a good idea to plan on eating at Brother's Pizza Buffet tonight

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Fort Lauderdale Sunset

Edited 02/05/11

Bad Day in Florida: crises after crises after problem after phone call after challenge after... Cancelled all appointments and sat in (and paced around) hotel room from 6:30am to 5:30pm, burning up phone and email lines. Finally surrendered, jumped in rental car and ran away to

Sunset on the Beach

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01_11 thumb fishing at sunset

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Back in the Day: 1993-1995 Racin'

Updated 01/16

A couple of days ago, Ruth was doing one of her Clean Out The Junk projects and said, "Look what I found." She had a small box containing six photo envelopes crammed with 5x7 glossy prints and negatives developed from 1993 to 1995!

Lo and behold, they were images from when we frequented Dixie Speedway just north of Atlanta.

Brief background: Dixie is a 3/8th mile clay (dirt!) race track in Woodstock, GA that has been runnin' races since 1969. Lots of the Big Names raced there: Bill Elliott won his first race at Dixie, we saw both Awesome Bill and Dale Earnhardt Sr. there.

This ain't your fancy Nascar Cup racing; Southern Saturday Night Bullring Racin' at its best. The boys come in late afternoon hauling their cars, mostly on beat-up trailers. Fans sit on concrete bleachers or, in our case, pull a truck up to the fence surrounding the track. Lawn chairs, grills, lots of food and coolers containing an "assortment of beverages" are the rule of the night. Off the track, behind the parked vehicles, kids run around playing and people get together for chats. The racing was fast, noisy, dirty (mud flying everywhere) and up close; the fans were noisy, friendly and family- oriented.

They are still running at Dixie but these pictures are from 1993-1995. Before digital so they are all scanned from negatives or from the print itself. For the photo geeks, I was shooting a Nikon FE2 and Mamiya 645 back then. All but three of the pix are 35mm and, if memory serves, a lot were shot on a tripod at night with 400 speed Kodak film... long exposures.   

So crank up the Wayback Machine, here we go:

 Panorama through the fence. We parked right beside the track so the racing was up close and personal 1995dixie Final 003

Saturday night at the track. They would run until all events were done or the mandatory curfew, around midnight I think, came around. 1995dixie Final 003
1995dixie Final 003
1995dixie Final 003
1995dixie Final 003
The flagman. Not up in the flagstand: a brave man ON THE TRACK with cars flying around him1995dixie Final 003
Dirt is much more forgiving than pavement, but this was still beatin' and bangin' racing 1995dixie Final 003
Tow them off, throw some dirt on the oil, occasionally break up a driver's fight and get back to racing1995dixie Final 003
Beatin' and bangin' took its toll. Hammer out the worst of the dents and race again next weekend.1995dixie Final 003
Not the nice clean racing that is on TV (no windshield: the drivers looked as dirty as the cars after a race)1995dixie Final 003
One of the "high-dollar" teams. They actually had uniforms. Most guys were in dirty jeans and faded shirts. 1995dixie Final 003

Sarah, Glenn, Rush, Chris, Keith, Sean, et al

My thoughts... from an apolitical point of view... to Sarah, Glenn, Rush, Chris, Keith, Sean, et al

I am in the ironic position of agreeing with Sarah Palin: "Vigorous and spirited public debates during elections are among our most cherished traditions.  And after the election, we shake hands and get back to work, and often both sides find common ground back in D.C. and elsewhere. If you don’t like a person’s vision for the country, you’re free to debate that vision. If you don’t like their ideas, you’re free to propose better ideas."

The rest of her January 12 statement reassures that she, as with many of you, have missed the key issue, as well as missing an opportunity for taking the high road, regarding the political climate in our country. The key issue is not who is saying what; nor what your party affiliation is; nor whether you lean left or right; nor, really, what the intent of your words or actions are. The key issue is that inflammatory rhetoric and imagery, accompanied by veiled or obvious references to violence, have become a political staple. The bombastic commentary and postings you love so much easily drive an emphasis on emotionally- charged confrontation.

Scream_sketch In many cases you are playing to the emotions of the masses instead of pursuing reasoned discourse. In many cases it is not "vigorous and spirited public debate" or being "free to debate that vision." Instead what we hear is belittling those who disagree with you, emotionally charged imagery with little or no purpose, close-minded demagoguery, and diatribes on how to best disrupt the process of public debate. It is one thing to disagree on and debate an issue, it is quite again something else to insult, belittle, blame and threaten. Something I heard once, "If you have to holler real loud to get your point across, your point is not worth getting across.

Your concern cannot be "Did one individual take MY words too literally or misinterpret them, leading to an act of incredible violence?" Instead the question you need to reflect on is "Am I creating an environment that breeds over-reaction and leads the wrong people down a path because they think they have the tacit approval of media personalities/ politicians?"

End is near cartoon The bigger question for you is "What good is all my loud noise really accomplishing, if anything at all?" I listen to your noise on the radio, watch it on TV or read your words and my immediate reaction is "Idiots"... even if the ideas being espoused are valid and you are not an idiot. If it were a bit quieter we might have some hope of actually getting something done. I am reminded of the popular 70's image of a bearded protester waving a big sign that said "The End Is Near." Everyone ignored him because he was an obvious whack job, without even considering if the end might actually be close by.

What most of you are missing, or ignoring, is the opportunity to take the higher road, to rise above the fray. How hard is it to say "Some of the things I have said might be taken the wrong way. I will think before speaking and avoid statements that inflame rather than debate."  I was impressed with the CEO of Fox News, Roger Ailes, statement, “I told all of our guys, shut up, tone it down, make your argument intellectually.  You don't have to do it with bombast.  I hope the other side does that (as well).”  Regardless if he really meant it, the statement resonates true. It is time to bring civility back into the political arena.

Bottle Light

It was a brisk and breezy evening after a very traumatic day in Arizona, so what to do ?

Drop sparklers in to (empty) wine bottles, shine different color lights on them and see what happens !

An almost etherial glow...

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Back-lit Katz...
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And my personal favorite...
adding a whole new light to Sexy Wine Bomb

(which was bought for the label and turned out to be a relatively decent red table wine)

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Meanwhile, it appears only one of the group had enough sense to stay in out of the cold...

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