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Two Scoops. November 30, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: , ,

Walking in the woods today, just off the road, I found this intriguing rock formation, two adjacent conical scoops carved out of a horizontally laid schist:


It seemed obvious to me that they hadn’t been carved by the little stream at their base, but rather by the West Branch of the Deerfield River, which was across the road and fifteen feet down the bank.  I’m sure that at a time not so long ago, geologically speaking, the river had been up here.  It had raged past these rocks, had its way with them and moved on, toward the sea, toward the center of the Earth.

But what wasn’t obvious to me, either in this test-shot for scale and to evaluate the paltry light or in the being there, was how to capture the dually curved rock faces, how to share some of the emotion generated by the potential energy inherent in their relief.

I settled on an angle which seemed to capture some measure of it…


Tweaked the framing…


And then saw this perception of How It Was, in the way that most of the photos which I like come to me, as a whisper, a revelation, the sudden gift of sight:


Something about this simple distillation says more to me about the rockforms which are excluded from view than the shots which included them.

I wonder if anyone else will see it that way.

Dinner With TCR: Thanksgiving Edition. November 30, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Dinner with TCR, Love and Death.

I was doubly blessed to have Thanksgiving twice this year, firstly on The Day with my neighbors, Frau B. and Muz Lu(mena.)  That was as “traditional” as it gets, sitting around the wood cook-stove chowing on a big stuffed turkey and a week’s worth of veggies, slow-cooked to perfection.  The wine flowed, the company was wonderful, and I’m still full from it.

Thank you, Ladies!

Then this Saturday we had a Family Reunion here at Chez Runt, with Pagan Sphinx, our two daughters and our new daughter-in-law.

It was so, so nice.

Dinner started with a coconut-curried butternut squash soup with a dollop of yoghurt and a pinch of cilantro:


Then a tomato and mozzarella salad with fresh basil, kalamata olives and red onions from my garden, spritzed with balsamic vinegar:


And a main course like you’d figure, to paraphrase Jonathan Richmond – turkey, dressing (by request,) mahogany rice* with dried cranberries, mashed turnip, little organic golden beets, and from my garden, kale with fresh garlic and baby Brussels sprouts:


Champagne courtesy of Pagan Sphinx.  🙂

And of course, pie. Pagan’s Pumpkin Pie, to be precise.  With coffee:


It was a really nice day, with lots of love being felt and shared.  My daughters are growing up and going their own ways, and it’s not that often that we all get together.  And our daughter-in-law is coming into our lives just in time to move away after graduation, which makes me sad.  She’s really nice, and the obvious love between her and Elder Progeny is something I’m most thankful for.  Sure is gonna make watching them move across the country a lot easier to take.

And SG2, who is very much out of town these days, is such a good buddy to me when she’s here – thanks, Gurrrl!!

Much love to you all, and to any who read this.

*  Oh, and Tengrain asked about the mahogany rice.  I’ve been using this stuff, Lundberg Black Japonica:


…from Lundberg Family Farms, a neighbor of yours, Ten (well, an hour north of Sacramento.  It ain’t China, is what I mean.)  They’re into sustainability and natural farming, which is admirable at least.  I’ll bet you can get it locally.  ‘Tis guuud!

OK, So I’m Feeble. November 29, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Uncategorized.
Tags: ,

I just promised Hill I’d update her home in my blogroll, but I haven’t done that since before WordPress changed their hoosamajigger, and I’m not seeing how to add/delete blogroll links.

Any WordPress folks out there who can clue me?


Friday Kitteh Blogging. November 28, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Love and Death.

A Ringneck Kitteh in the snow:


These poor kittehz aren’t really suited for New England winters.  I wonder what it’ll do when there’s two feet of snow.

It’s Thanksgiving, And I’m Thankful. November 27, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Love and Death.

Thankful for this chance to focus my attention away from the evils and troubles of the world, onto the blessings.

And those blessings are headed by my two wondrous daughters, Meredith and Ursula, without whom my life would have no meaning.    Whether you heard the 1970’s admonition to “teach your parents well” or not, that’s what you’re doing.  And I’ll never be able to thank you enough.

I’m thankful for an ex-wife who has become one of my dearest friends as we co-parent our daughters on their journey to become independent women of the finest kind.  Thank you, Gina.  The years of loving you will always stand as the high point of my life.  I wish you every happiness in your current relationship; that’s one very special guy you’ve got there.

And I’m thankful for the community of friends who come by here regularly to check in, offer me support and appreciate me as a player in the life we share.  You validate me when I’m unsure, you support the delicate structures which I build from my emotions and offer as my vision of reality.

Thank you all, and Every Blessing to you.

– Ralph

It’s A-Comin’! November 26, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: ,

I told my Siamese Cousin Bob that I’d share my snow with him when it got here.

And while it’s presently a bit thin, and I’m not yet breaking out the snow-shoes, the visage of Winter is pressing against my window.

Ice-Fog on the hills:


Thin snow on the road:


Ponds freezing in the pre-dawn air:


It’s not fully Winter, and could indeed backslide into some sort of Autumnal malaise, but still, it smells of ice and thin sun and sleep.

So be it.  I’m ready for winter.

Night And Day. November 25, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Politics and Society.

Over the past couple of days I’ve had the opportunity to hear parts of President Elect Obama’s press conferences, wherein he announced the names of some of his economic advisers and delineated a framework for his plan to deal with this country’s economic troubles.

And while I’m not entirely comfortable with the parade of familiar faces being trotted out in the name of “change,” I found myself warming to the idea that this busload of Smart Cookies could indeed take us down a new path, under the capable leadership of a Man of Vision.

How incredibly, utterly different it was to feel that way, after nigh unto a decade of listening to King George the Lesser mangle the English language, struggling to put sentences together in a way which actually communicated something other than his abject incompetence.

I foresee a period of adjustment in my future, a finite amount of time during which I can come to grips with the concept of a President I can be proud of, someone who can meet with other World Leaders without causing me to cringe in anticipation of every impolitic gesture, every mispronounced word, every third-grade syntax error, every unselfconscious expression of hubris and arrogance and stupidity.

The difference, even at this early juncture, couldn’t be clearer.  For eight long years we’ve been “led” by a grinning idiot, seeming more like a bobble-headed hood ornament on a bus full of Bozos than any semblance of a President.

And now, with an economic tempest bearing down on us, with the baleful wail of Sirens surrounding us, the clouds are parting to reveal the silhouette of a man at the helm who just might be capable of keeping our Ship of State off the shoals, someone with the leadership qualities necessary to get our disparate Nation pulling together, hauling in the sheets, battening down the hatches, bailing the bilges…

…OK, OK, I know – knock it off   before I have you all chumming over the starboard rail!

But really, does anybody other than me get the sense of Obama as someone who’s in a totally different league from his predecessor?

Because I for one could really appreciate a President who is a good deal smarter than I am, for a change.

Now that would be change I could believe in!

Rocks, With And Without. November 24, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, climbing.
Tags: , ,

A couple more shots from the weekend.

First, one for sherry, who said, “I’d rather just look at the rocks!”



I liked the geometry of that one.

And Dan Alroy representing the “with:”


Dan’s looking strong these days!

Ruby Tuesday! November 24, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Ruby Tuesday!.
Tags: , ,

OK, so it’s Monday, but I’m fading and certainly won’t  a) be up at midnight, or  b) have time to do this tomorrow morning, so here goes!

I saw a Raspberry Sunrise this morning:


I’m happy to say that I did nothing to that image beyond cropping and resizing it.  Yeah, it looked just like that.

Here’s a mid-day shot of wintergreen berries, with even their leaves gone red with Autumn:


And a big red barn against a big blue sky:


Thanks to Mary at Work of the Poet for this whimsical meme!

Dinner With TCR! November 24, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Dinner with TCR.
Tags: , ,

Tonight, a Mahogany Risotto with spicy sunflower seeds, dried cranberries and black trumpets which I picked this Summer:


With some nice crisp asparagus.