Saturday, July 02, 2005

Oodles of Doodles XXX-Christmas In July

To get caught up a little, here's another Christmas doodle for our special Christmas in July edition. This time we're looking at the backside of John Klein-A Christmas Sound Spectacular (RCA Victor LPM-2023, 1959). The tagline on the front reads '1500 Bells In Hi-Fi', so you can only imagine the cacophony inside. I must have a dozen of these bells-and-chimes Christmas LPs, and they all sound pretty much the same. This one at least was good for a nice doodle. If you look closely, you'll see a part of an artist name in the upper left. Dillon, I think it says. No idea who that is, or even if that name is correct.

Which One's Pink (This Pig Has Flown)

OK, I know this is usually a photo blog, but I don't have any pictures of this to share with you. I just watched the Pink Floyd reunion at Live 8, and I gotta say it was great. Seeing Roger Waters perform with David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Richard Wright was amazing. Someone may correct me on this, but I think they also had Dick Parry out there to play the sax solo on 'Money'. And if you blinked, you missed a wonderful shot by an on-the-ball cameraman of the actual Battersea Power Station in the background of the Hyde Park venue. Roger didn't have the same voice he used to, and I'm not sure if the person mixing the video was as familiar with the band as the guy who caught Battersea, as they only had about two shots of Rick Wright the whole time. And of course MTV/AOL/VH1 chose to cut away before the end of Comfortably Numb to go to more commercials, but up to that point it was a dream come true. Now, if they only release it on DVD or CD. I believe they are streaming the concert on XM, so if nothing else, there should be some high quality bootlegs out there somewhere. Anybody want to hook me up?

Another Day, Another Sunset

I seem to be pummeling you with sunsets and sunrises lately, so here's another one to totally overwhelm you. This was last night off the coast of Ft. Desoto, which I've talked about at length before. The stench from the red tide and the dead fish was almost overwhelming, but I stuck it out long enough to get this shot, and left.
About that tower, I'm not sure of it's exact purpose. There's a lighthouse on an island to the left of this shot (the sunset was in the wrong place this time of year to capture it) that aids in entering and exiting Tampa Bay, so I have to assume the tower performs some of the same functions, only electronically.

Oodles of Doodles XXIX-Christmas In July

To celebrate a little bit of Christmas in July, we're going to bring you a month of Christmas doodles. And to make it even more special, we're starting out with out first color doodle! This image is from the flip side of Jimmy Roselli-The Christmas Album (United Artists UAL 3538, 1966). I don't know much about Mr. Roselli, other than he appears to be an Italian crooner along the same lines as Dean Martin.
We'll try to bring you more Christmas related doodles as July wears on, and for more Christmas related fun, click on over to It's the place to be when you aren't gathered around the Christmas tree singing carols.
For those of you who may just be tuning in, these little doodles you see here are all collected from the backs of old vinyl LPs in my collection. There are plenty of websites out there that feature the fronts of some of these same classic LPs, but nobody has seen fit to share the little pen-and-ink doodles that decorated the backs of the LPs. Cheaper to print than full-color photos, and often more decorative, these doodles hit their peak on the RCA-Victor albums of the late 50's and early 60's. But many other labels used similar drawings, and for many years. We hope you enjoy them!

Now, go watch Live 8!

Friday, July 01, 2005

The First Couple Days Of July

Our weekly calendar page features a spectacular sunset. It's not even shot from a great location (the corner of Tuttle and University in Sarasota, Florida, it was an empty field, now it's condos) but beauty is where you find it. I remember it was very, very cold, and I had left my jacket in the car when I hopped out to shoot this. But I didn't notice until after I had taken my shots.

July 2005

Welcome to July. To celebrate, here's our monthly calendar page featuring a patriotic egret. This fellow was standing atop the restaurant at the end of the Anna Maria City Pier. The flag in the background was a little worse for wear.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Best Sunrise Ever!-Classic Ernie

I brought you a classic sunrise over a bridge yesterday, so I figured I'd do it again today. This stunning sunrise is over the International Speedway bridge in Daytona Beach, Florida. I was spending a day or two working over there every couple of weeks, and I would drive out before work every day in hopes of catching a good sunrise. And this is what I got for trying! I couldn't believe it! This shot is with no filters, no tweaking, no Photoshop, no nothing, straight out of my old Kodak DC4800 3MP digital camera. I have dreams about catching another sunrise like this one...

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Sunrise Skyway-Classic Ernie

Here's a classic sunrise for you. This shot of the Sunshine Skyway was taken from Ft Desoto early on a Saturday morning. (For all you out-of-towners, the Sunshine Skyway runs across the mouth of Tampa Bay and connects St. Pete to Bradenton, Florida.) I was lucky to be there at the right time of year in order for the sun to actually come up between the towers. And then to be on the right section of beach at just the moment the sun peeped over the horizon. And then the luck that I could actually see the horizon on that particular day. All in all it made for a quite glorious shot. The great blue heron in the shot is just icing on the cake!

I'm submitting this shot to Photo Friday, as my first entry in their weekly photo contest. I don't think they really have a 'winner' for that contest, but at least I may get a little exposure for my humble blog. Their theme for the week is orange, so I'm sure they'll get more sunrises and sunsets than they know what to do with.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


What good are cats? I mean, all they do is lie around, and meow at you when they get hungry. You make the bed, and they hop right up on it. They step on your face when you're trying to sleep.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Blossomin' Bromeliads

Here are some more spectacular blossoms from Selby on Saturday. These are all bromeliads, and once again, I can't tell you the name of a single one of them.

Orchid Overkill

As I promised, here're some of the flowers I shot at Selby Botanical Gardens this past Saturday. I'll start with the orchids. And I'll skip all the ones that you might see down at Wal-mart and only show you some of the truly exotic things they grow down there. I can't even pretend I know the names of all these things. I'm mostly attracted to the unique shapes and brilliant colors.

Mammoth Moth

This big guy was hanging around outside the front door at work this morning. You don't see them ever day, but they're not all that rare. Just in case you can't tell, he's about 4" across from wingtip to wingtip. Below is a detail of the spots on one wing. Pretty impressive! (Any of you lepidopterists out there care to ID this fellow for me? I haven't found a match here yet.)

Update! I think it's an Imperial Moth.

The Last Week Of June

What a coincidence! Our calendar picture this week is one of the lighthouses from Boca Grande that I just shared with you yesterday. That certainly cuts down on the need for any fancy exposition on my part.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Five Of A Kind

One thing I've always noticed is a large abundance of church buildings on Boca Grande. I suppose when the hurricane is heading your way, everybody gets a little religion. Speaking of hurricanes, you can see the building above has been lifted off of it's old foundation to repair some damage from the last big hurricane.

I don't know if it's hurricane damage or not, but I bet those palm trees used to be a little straighter.

I can't think of anythnig witty to say about this one, exept that it has a nice steeple.

This is the only one I know the denomination of. It's Catholic. The pope might be a little confused about the palm trees, but it still looks like a Catholic church.

This little church building is just the other side of the dunes from the beach. A person with a good arm could also throw a rock from here to the Boca Grande Lighthouse. I think this one is only used for special occasions, like weddings and such.

Two Of A Kind

You might be surprised to learn that Gasparilla Island has not one but two lighthouses. The first one you come to on the main road is just a simple tower, and was built in 1927 (or maybe that's the street number written in iron letters over the door?). It's in an odd location, as it's along the beach a couple miles up from the point. This one is called the Rear Range Lighthouse.

The second, older lighthouse is much more attractive, even though it's surrounded by a chainlink fence to keep the undesirables out. When someone talks about the Boca Grande Lighthouse, this is the light they usually mean. This one sits on the southernmost point of the island, and has been here for over one hundred years helping ships safely enter Charlotte Harbor.

Osprey Overhead

Right before sunset last night, I spent a few minutes watching this osprey nest on the other side of the island. There were a pair of them there, but I never could get a shot of both birds at the same time. As long as I was in the area, the one closest to the nest continually squawked at me, occasionally taking off and flying in a big cirle, then landing back at the nest and squawking some more. It was on one of these circumnavigations that I managed to get the picture below. Pretty cool, huh? (I had a similar shot of a different pair of ospreys here, for those of you trying to catch up.)

Spectator Sport

This was the sunset last night from Boca Grande. These folks had a pretty good view from one of the dune walkovers. It was a great end to a great day.