Black hole sun


When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat. ~ Ronald Reagan

This is a closeup of yesterday’s panorama. Enjoy.




Beams of light


“Words which do not give the light of Christ increase the darkness.” ~ Mother Teresa 

More clouds and land.  I have photographed this location before, it’s on my ride home along Hwy 5 between Tracy and Patterson. Here’s a few slightly enhanced versions also, as well as the last which is bigger.


Rainbows and butterflies


"In my world everyone is a pony, and they all eat rainbows, and poop butterflies." ~ Katie from Horton Hears a Who

Not a robust rainbow, but the sun shining through onto the fields made for a nice view on my drive home yesterday.  The version below is just larger.  Enjoy.


My train’s a comin’


“If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction.” ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

This is my second or third picture at the city limits of Westley, CA.  I see this train every morning, and wave and flash my lights at the guy.  Sometimes he sees me and blows the air horns.

Train1 Train2 Train3 Train5 Train6 Train7 Train8 Train9 Train10 Train12 Train16 Train17

Altamont Train Trestle


“We are told never to cross a bridge until we come to it, but this world is owned by men who have ‘crossed bridges’ in their imagination far ahead of the crowd.” ~ Anonymous

This train trestle (bridge) passes over Hwy 580E on my way home.  I took this pic by holding my camera out the sun roof at 60mph (almost lost the camera to the wind).  Nice clouds too.  Here’s a few more versions:

May27 May27a May27c May27d

Angry clouds over the Altamont


Before we had airplanes and astronauts, we really thought that there was an actual place beyond the clouds, somewhere over the rainbow. There was an actual place, and we could go above the clouds and find it there. ~ Barbara Walters 

A cube-mate here said that these pictures make it look like God is about to appear.  As you can see, the Altamont Pass is no longer green from winter rains, and grasses have browned as the waterless summer approaches.

Here’s another view.



Another panorama of hay


Consider the lilies o’ the goddamn field or… hell! Take Delmar here as your paradigm of hope. ~ Ulysses from O Brother Where Art Thou

I know, big deal, another pano of a field of hay. But look at that the cute poofy clouds on the horizon! Come on, you know you wanted to say “awwww.”  

Here’s some more versions, including the original, un-retouched photo, which had some green/pink color banding across the field due to differences in the original photos before stitching.  I fixed that in the version above by selecting the field and colorizing it one color.  


Bigger than a breadbasket


For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ.  Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. ~ 1 Corinthians 3:11-13 (New Living Translation)

Someone asked me about the size of these bales, so I put my kids on one.  Huge, eh?   


Hay, what’s up


Make hay while the sun shines. ~Proverb

Yep, it’s sill hay season.  Lots of those giant bales waiting for pickup.



“I am not a glutton – I am an explorer of food” ~ Erma Bombeck

Another Mexican treat that most of us gringos know nothing about – chilaquiles (chee-la-KEE-lays).  Very basic breakfast or lunch food – fried corn tortillas cut into smaller pieces, add freshly made salsa (green or red) and queso fresco, and you have a nice high-calorie meal.  Strangely, my Mexican relatives all like it with coffee – I guess it’s like having tamales for breakfast.

Conservative, YES, GOP, who cares?


"The impetus for the Tea Party movement is excessive government spending and taxation. Our mission is to attract, educate, organize, and mobilize our fellow citizens to secure public policy consistent with our three core values of Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government and Free Markets." From the Mission Statement of the National Tea Party Patriots website

What's most interesting about this sign in my area is that the candidate is running as a Republican, but in the primaries, it's more important to be known as a true, and some would say "Tea Party" conservative. Not even traditional patriotic rwb colors!

With Tea Party backed candidates booting out RINOs, even those supported by the National GOP leaders, the people are speaking.  And with regard to Obama, in November, they will be "talking back."  I am glad that conservative principles are replacing party loyalties.  We don't need another Bush, and we certainly don't need another Obama term!!!!   OTP!


It’s not rust, it’s primer


“You may be a redneck if . . . you have spent more on your pickup truck than on your education.” ~ Jeff Foxworthy (American comedian, b.1958)

Here’s an old flatbed near my home, waiting for the sander, or a coat of paint, or something.  Here’s some other versions, including the original photo.


Bringing in the hay


“There is no reason to fear the wind if your stack of hay is well tied” ~ Irish Saying

These are actually huge bails of hay.  Just part of my daily commute. 

As American as apple pie and burgers


If it’s flipping hamburgers at McDonald’s, be the best hamburger flipper in the world. Whatever it is you do you have to master your craft. ~ Snoop Dogg 

This is the view from my car in the McDonald’s drive-thru in Westley, CA.  I thought it was neato.

Pigeon launcher


"Over the centuries, mankind has tried many ways of combating the forces of evil… prayer, fasting, good works and so on. Up until Doom, no one seemed to have thought about the double-barrel shotgun. Eat leaden death, demon." ~ Terry Prachett, Novelist and gamer

Our church men's group went out into the hills to shoot clay discs and eat beef.  Here's one of the launchers, with the pigeons in their boxes.  I am amazed at how many of my fellow country church goers have really nice shotguns, and how good they are!  I only shot 7 out of 25, but we had guys (and teenagers) hitting 21, 23, even 25 out of 25.  

I have to say, the rise of militias in the US actually makes me feel very secure.  As we saw in the recent plot to kill police by a fanatical group, it was another militia group that turned them in.  Despite the fear-mongering of some 'freedom-hating' leftists, most gun owners are freedom-loving and law-abiding patriots who would be around to restore order or defend us in case of terrorist activity in our country.

As evidence, check out this very good NPR story entitled America's New Kinder, Gentler Militia:

As Gulliksen sees it, the militias in Michigan aren't out to destroy the government, they are out to maintain it. They want to lend a hand to local authorities and restore states' rights. He said the group has a good relationship with local politicians and the local sheriff, too.

"I honestly feel that if there was an emergency like a natural disaster or a missing person, I don't think he'd have a problem calling on us to help," Gulliksen said. "If it was more of a law enforcement-type thing, rioting or something like that, he may be a little hesitant."

In fact, a town supervisor in nearby Bridgewater, Mich., has already called on the volunteer militias twice this year to help find missing people. The militias fanned out on foot and horseback. 

I have friends in the Domestic Emergency Network, which is just one of the more broad-based militia/emergency-response citizens groups that feels that the government is ill equipped to respond to disasters or domestic terrorism.

Dripping fire


“The beef industry has contributed to more American deaths than all the wars of this century, all natural disasters, and all automobile accidents combined.” ~ Neal Barnard, M.D.

We had a men’s outing this weekend where we fired shotguns and grilled tri-tip.  Here’s the meat on fire, with dripping fat and flames.  

Empty corral


"We herd sheep, we drive cattle, we lead people. Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way." ~ George S. Patton 

I tried to capture the closed in feeling of this corral, which has the cattle gate to the right.   

On cloudy days, the road goes nowhere forever


“RAILROAD, n. The chief of many mechanical devices enabling us to get away from where we are to where we are no better off. For this purpose the railroad is held in highest favor by the optimist, for it permits him to make the transit with great expedition.” ~ Ambrose Bierce 

I sure hope the cloudy days of winter pass. They make for interesting pictures, but the overcast is depressing sometimes!

Leave a message somewhere


A message prepared in the mind reaches a mind; a message prepared in a life reaches a life.  ~ Bill Gothard 

May13 This photo is a smaller part of a bigger abandoned storefront in Crows Landing, CA.  The broken light is the most interesting visual item here, as well as the message.  If you look at the bigger photo (right), you’ll probably wonder like me – how do they expect you to leave a message? 

Good Bank and Locker Service of Crows Landing


“A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back when it begins to rain.” ~ Robert Frost (American poet, 1874-1963)

This is one storefront in an abandoned building in the small town of Crows Landing, CA.  The county sign says the town has a population of 600, which I think is probably high.  I wish I knew the history behind this relic.  I’ll have to do some research.