Wednesday, January 31, 2007


The Kansas state capital building from Kansas Ave. I think I have more shots of the capital building than I do from the Brown V. Board of Education National Historic Site, where I just spent two days.

A shot of the Agricultural building at the Kansas Expo Centre, next to my hotel, and Ft. Riley troops headed overseas at Kansas City International Airport. "We're headed down-range, that's all I can say," said the man on the left.

Cold and midwestern, reminded me of Colubmia, Mo.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

guitar heroes

Jeff Tweedy and Yo La Tengo in one weekend. Quite the welcome to Bimringham, even with the overzealous bouncer who threatened to confiscate my "too professional looking" camera despite the Wilcoworld note that "photography without flash is permitted." "That's for little point and shoots, not you," said the large man in spandex shirt.

Tweedy put on a good show all by himself with the only light in the house on him. Lots of banter with the crowd and inevitable request for "Freebird" which even the crowd booed. I walked up, bought tickets, and thehy were on the second row with nobody in front of me. Not bad.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

funny face

Morgan checks her camera, last meal with the Gainesvillains.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Day 2: I Search of Florida-ness

I came into the campgrounds after dusk, so I missed the huge population of buzzards until the next morning. A sure sign to beat it out of there.

Months ago I had heard how beautiful Boca Grande was and thought it was worth a shot. It seemed less built up than Sanibel and Captive islands, just to the south. Less reputation as a CIA retirement community as well. I drove all the way to the south end of the island to the old lighthouse and got ready for a run on the beach. While the beaches were covered with shells, as I had hoped, they were also covered with foot-long mullets. No, not wigs or scalps, but smelly dead fish…marking high tide. The shell collectors pretended not to notice, but that put an end to my running plans for the day.

The winter community is wealthy and I met a gardener doing his best to keep up with a 200-yard long bougainvillea.

After an overpriced seafood lunch I headed north, driving through Sarasota to see what was there. No stops worth mentioning. Gainesville was just as I left it, but with my days numbering even fewer.

last trip into Florida-ness

Florida is here and then it’s gone. With my return to Birmingham approaching I wanted one last fling into the Sunshine State. Gainesville is in Florida, but its not really Florida—it is on the edge of the Floridaness which is so well known. So I headed south trying to do those things I had said I would do, but hadn’t yet and get to the beach one last time.

Crystal River is just outside of our coverage area, but because of its winter residents at the University of Florida folks who keep track of them I have been trying to get down there. I never saw the Manatees despite stumbling onto the Refuge headquarters and looking out across its waters I did see some sort of tour boat stopped near an island.

I did meet a couple of nice folks who were drumming up business for the tax prep services on east side of Crystal River. I’m not so sure I trust Liberty Tax Services more having seen this.

It’s a straight shot south from Crystal River to Weeki Watchee. I made it there with fifteen minutes to spare before the final show of the day. Actually, I didn’t. The show was at 2:30, not 3:30. So much for tacky Florida. I kept driving south.

Skirting rush hour Tampa I decided to try to stay at a beachside state park near Venice. It was full. So I tried another place on their list of other campsites. They were not full, but charged $55 per night. Instead of the sunset that was promising as I drove up, a fog back settled in and turned everything gloomy.

I ended up staying at a campsite six or seven miles inland, called Myakka. They had RVs and tents mixed into the same site and things were packed. Nothing like kids screaming ‘til 11:00 and RV generators starting at 6:00 the next morning.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Saturday music

Lots of live music yesterday. A nice change. A clogging troupe was practicing outside the library as I exchanged some books. Picked up Ruth Reichl's memoir of being the NYTimes restaurant critic and the disguises she invented to make it legit. Its pretty funny so far.

had an assignment to shoot live jazz at an outdoor cafe. It was neither cold not rainy, and so they played. I was hoping to make some moody shots with the available light, but that light turned out to be a neon Miller Light sign and not much else. So, out came some gelled strobes.

After I toned some shots up I went to hear reporter Alice Wallace sign with her blues band. She can warble and wail with the best of them.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

football championship madness

And things did get kinda crazy. 30,000 people in one block crazy. I shot photos, video, and recorded sound through the throng. Only one person was seriously injured--a streaker was run over. I made it to bed by 8:00AM.

Monday, January 08, 2007


I actually do want the Gators to beat Ohio State. Then I can say that I've been there to see it. No, I don't want to get stuck in the middle of the chaos, but a few hours will tell.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

pack it away

'til next year

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Waiting for some Smackdown