Friday, June 30, 2006

Road Trip

I had to travel to another college to work on a grant proposal (way too many of those things these days, but it was for a good project), so on my way back I took a secondary road just to see what I could see. The sign above was a hoot.
Then I came across this abandoned diesel shop with a derelict bus (only 3 wheels) and what appeared to be the bus engine left out front some time ago. One of those places that just got forgotten.
The bus just looked wounded from this angle.
Texture and color on the old engine.
Photographic experiments after getting a good bold cup of coffee. Nothing like a cup of gas station Joe to get your blood flowing.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Old Truck and Air Conditioning on Subarus

So I got to go on a neat trip today. My friend Jim has a 2002 Subaru Outback. I think it is even the L.L. Bean edition. Anyway, his airconditioner has given up the ghost. He tried valiantly today to find an 'old school' local mechanic to fix it up, but no dice. There was one guy, Gus I think it was (the best mechanics are always named Gus or Earl...don't ask me why, but you can trust a Gus or Earl), who had the software diagnostics program, but his version only went through 2001 Subaru's. He gave it a try for Jim, but things had changed just enough that the error code wasn't in the book. I got to look around some great old cars while I waited to ferry Jim back to the office.
This one International Harvester truck caught my eye. Tons of miles...and as a result lots of great textures.
The shadow from the huge side view mirror mounting brackets reminded me of a tree. Horticulture on the is an affliction :-)

Monday, June 26, 2006

Birkenstock Biker

So this is one of my longtime Florida pals. He got a new motorcycle that he is very proud of and rightfully so! I couldn't help but bring the casual driveway picture into photoshop and have some quick fun with it.

Disclaimer: Birkenstocks are probably not suitable footwear for touring sport bikes that can reach speeds in excess of 150 mph.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

An hour at the N.C. Arboretum

Christine and I visited the North Carolina Arboretum inbetween showers today for about an hour. I leave you with the variety of things seen in such a short time starting with the quilt garden.
Reptile creeping along the garden wall.
Eastern Rufus-sided Towhee who seems to know how to read (look closely at the sign).
Blue and Gray Gnat Catcher ???
Interesting purple and red Coleus (hot new cultivar called Fishnet Stockings).
Cool Lepidopteran...anyone know more ????
Awesome Bonsai composed of native Appalachian forest species.
Beautiful Rose Aphids.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Squash Anyone ? Urgent !

The yellow squash is one of the few (if not only member of the Cucurbitaceae Family) that I do not like to eat, but the blooms are fantastic and large and the fused petals create some great light effects and opportunities for macro shots.
Interior shot of flower. I was able to get the lens all the way inside the flower with a little effort.
Fun with photo shop.
Now on to the urgent portion of this post. Bullbunky recently posted a link to a Flash game where the player creates and cleans restrooms. I was involved with a federally funded educational project where a multi-state group designed a Flash Simulator to teach students about controlled environments in greenhouses. The original concept and heavy lifting was done by Ag engineers at The University of Arizona who created the mathematical model that drives the thing...but to make a long story short in the process I became extremely interested in Flash Learning Object creation and simulator design, so I had to check out Urgent.
Well, I have to tell you the game is not only hilarious, but amazingly well designed. I am horrible at it, but it has a very serious mission. Although, I am just not mature enough to receive the educational benefits...I can't help but laugh out loud when the clients (little men in blue...cause I chose to design a men's room) use the stall for #2 or the urinal for #1. If you don't set up your restroom correctly your clients piddle on the floor (look at the yellow puddle to the right of the screen capture).
The zoom in for the user manual is also very creative as the person studying the guide is on the toilet. Come on have all done is afterall the last quiet place in the modern home...and I am afraid that with all the wireless gadgets coming out it won't be a refuge for the brain much longer.
Finally the guide, in addition to explaining the game, rules, and controls, also teaches the trainee about three different types of common pathogens found in the restroom including Herpes, Shigella, and Giardia. Humor and education smoothly fused into a game for the restroom manager of tomorrow.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Coincidence or something even funnier?; an experiment...

OK so I have a theory. On Bullbunky's "One more poop joke post" I had to smile a bit when I saw the three images past the infamous Rhino and Jeff. I had to wait until I got home, but when I went through may pictures of France (about 1/10 as many as John took) I found three similar (but not nearly as good) images....see the evidence for yourself.
Now I know what you are saying. Probably more pictures have been recorded on film, CCD, or CMOS in Paris than there are AOL CDs in the landfills...and you might be right, but I want to do an experiment.
John and I did grow up within walking distance of each other, did once play on the same soccer team, attended the same highschool, and of course there is the whole Hokie thing...but most of you who know the two of us probably think the similarities end there...afterall he is quite a bit taller and often accused of looking English and still occassionally needs a haircut. Of course I am only 5'8" on my best day and long ago outgrew the need for barbers...but still there is something more going on here.
So I hypothesize that somewhere in his 2100 digital images on his video ipod he has one like this above. If so...then there is something unsavory going on here :-) and we should contact John Edward for help.

JOHN do you have image similar to this of the Art Deco Paris Metropolitan sign ???

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Cleaning Out the Early Morning Cobwebs

We have had lots of humidity here, but no rain. The temperature drops nicely in the evening down to the upper 50's to low 60's resulting in heavy dew. It results in some wonderful cobwebs out on the deck early in the morning. There has also been very little breeze making for easy shots with no tripod.
Ever feel like this ???

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Being an amateur at Photoshop I am often 'playing' with different effects and sometime the experiments can have interesting least to me anyway :-) Above is a combination of road side flowers and a beach debris still life from Maine.
Same coast of Maine still life, overlayed with a sunset shot from Sannibel Island, Florida. That's right, two beaches in one!

Monday, June 19, 2006


"When spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without a thought on anything but the ride you are taking."

---Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle, 1896 article for Scientifc American

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Campus Mill Pond

There is a really neat stone mill on campus. The wheel is approaching 100 years in age and was orginally located somewhere elses. (picture above from HCC website). Excerpt from recent web article: The waterwheel at HCC has a long history in Haywood County. It was first purchased in 1908 from a company in Pennsylvania by David Crockett Campbell for Campbell Creek in Maggie Valley. The wheel was used to power a gristmill, sawmill, and electric generator, which powered the first electric icebox in Maggie Valley. The wheel spent 39 years on Campbell Creek.

In 1947, the waterwheel was sold to A.L. Freedlander and remained on his estate for 33 years. In 1979, the waterwheel was donated to HCC in memory of Freedlander. The Dayco Charitable Foundation gave HCC a $10,000 gift to move the waterwheel to HCC and refurbish it.

The waterwheel was erected beside the HCC Mill Pond in 1980. Students, faculty, and staff carefully reassembled the wheel bolt by bolt.

In 1983, Mr. and Mrs. W. Curtis Russ donated money to start the construction of the mill house and to hire a consultant to provide technical assistance. Shortly afterward, Irene Campbell McKaughan, David Crockett Campbell's daughter, and Doan Ogden, a landscape architect from Asheville that had drawn the original landscape plans that called for construction of the millpond, donated the original millstones to HCC. Ogden also donated all the gears and working parts of the waterwheel. McKaughan's gift required that a painting be completed of the waterwheel in its Campbell Creek location. This painting is now displayed in the HCC Library.

I just think the waterwheel is a fascinating combination of stone, metal, and wood.
Rustic attempt by dropping the color info.
Fun with photoshop's pencil filter.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Proof of Concept

Many of you know that I have this little hobby / business on the side called 2doggraphics. It does break even and even allow me to upgrade my computer equipment and keep an up-to-date camera and software, but lets just say I won't be opening up a branch office any time soon.
Anyway, I am in the early conceptual stages of designing two posters for a client in New England and I thought these were kind of fun. In the end they will probably want something more traditional for recruiting, but I thought these would be more eye-catching than the standard fare you see hanging on every bulletin board in every college.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Visualize your Blog

OK, so I know that anyone who would read a blog entitled Lollygag must at least allow their minds to wonder a bit from time to time :-) Well you have to check out this applet.
It turns links of any website (any http:// site) into a visual map. The image above is of Lollygag.This graph is of the Weather Channel Website....and this interesting one (kind of looks like a dandelion) is from The International Mountain Bike Association.

FULL STORY: Visualizing a map of your blog by ZDNet's Roland Piquepaille -- Let's pretend you're not busy today and that you have enough spare time to load a Java applet that will show you a map of your blog -- or your web site -- looking like a bouquet of flowers of different colors. It will not take you lots of time, it's -- almost -- useless, but it's fun to watch the creation of the map in real time.