Bawlmer Part I (Shocking?)

Welcome to Charm City.

Bay City South?

The City That Reads (that'll be good for the next explorer)

Monument City

Baile an Tí Mhóir

close up

head and shoulders

in the wires next to trash can

fells point

This is another in the continuing series of wee toaty explorers, a project to keep me busy while I'm on the road. A nice summary is here.

A for Effort


I have to constantly remind myself that I live in a place where big 4-wheel drive trucks are the norm and not be surprised to see such anti-compact car sentiment. I mean, really, why is it only compact cars that can't park beyond this sign?

The Brunette and I went to see the movie Easy A. I was surprised as anyone to find out this movie had nothing to do with getting good grades. It was much more related to the kind of A you find in The Scarlet Letter (or The Wapshot Chronicle, for that matter).

Afterward, we decided to keep the A-theme going and had dinner at a drive-in joint that we could walk to from the theater. The drive-in is called "Big A." I had the closest thing to a real Philly Cheesesteak that I've had since we moved to this wee town. I'm sorry, California, but a Philly Cheesesteak is not cubed high-quality steak on a bun. (I went to a restaurant that actually served me a slab of steak on a roll. Jeez.) Big A came close with some fairly thinly shaved beef. It tasted good.

But more interestingly, I skipped the regular fries and got the most creepy food possible:

smiley fries

I don't eat seafood partly because I don't generally like food staring at me, but these were fun to decorate with ketchup. Zombie smiley fries, for the win!

Somebody Stole the Lake!

The kayak and I toddled up to Scotts Flat Lake yesterday evening. It was nice to have the whole place pretty much to myself, but there was a whole lot less of the lake than I realized would be there.

This is the view from the parking lot at the day use area. In the spring, the water comes down to about the middle point of the picture. Can you even see the kayak out there at the water's edge?

day use area

Once on the water, it starts to look like the trees are running away from the water, leaving only a strange muddy shore. The shore looks like it has been raked, but I assume this is because of the slow lowering of the water level.

top of the lake

I thought it might be easier to carry the kayak back along the floating dock. I was wrong.

floating dock

Keep to the Right

Not to keep stealing from Frog Blog, but I like this image:

For a better start...

Found on Frog Blog:

TV Tray Finale

So I'm tired of hacking at this TV Tray, so I'm going to stick a fork in it and call it "done."

Well, I'm not going to stick a fork in it, but I am done with it. You might remember I last touched it in August. Here's what we started with:

tv tray with girl

And this is the final product:

Next step is to cover it with a clear coat and then start using it and the other ones for TV dinners.

Tilted SYRCL?

Isn't this the building where the SYRCL is?

This is a part of a series of pictures, looking at the buildings on the hill in Nevada City as if the sidewalk were level.

Tilted Building

You might not recognize this store since the sidewalk isn't usually so flat. I don't remember which store this is.

tilted building

This is a part of a series of pictures, looking at the buildings on the hill in Nevada City as if the sidewalk were level.

Tilted with Added Shriner

I'm going to have to take this building again because it's not quite level, but I couldn't resist showing you the Shriner from this weekend's Constitution Parade.

tilted building with Shriner

This is a part of a series of pictures, looking at the buildings on the hill in Nevada City as if the sidewalk were level.

The Wapshot Chronicle (John Cheever)

I stumble down to the kitchen and assemble the necessary bits and pieces of my breakfast. I claim a bowl from the drying rack and a spoon from the dishwasher. The bowl is ceramic, glazed blue inside and green outside. The spoon is your standard tea spoon. I take the basket of food down from the cupboard. It contains raisins, bagged puffs of grain,and a box of decorator cereal. Finally, I get the skim milk from the refrigerator. These items I tastefully arrange on the breakfast bar and take a seat in one of the metal stools.

This is, as it is every morning, the moment at which I realize that I have not acquired the entire set of breakfast support paraphernalia. In this case, I forgot the necessary conveyance for personal consumption of the diet soda (not to mention the diet soda itself). After a sigh that holds within it the burdens of the entire world (and nearby planet Osmose-P), I stand again and go to the cabinet to get an appropriate glass. I take a pass on the Guinness pints and choose between a commemorative Star Wars glass emblazoned with C-3PO and Han Solo and a pint glass painted with a giant red "A." As I reach my hand in for the "A" glass, Annabel Lee appears behind me without warning.

"Stands for 'Always in Trouble' doesn't it?" she shouts. Well, what would you do if your imaginary little sister appeared without warning while you were reaching for a glass before you were completely awake? Well, what I do -- every single time -- is drop the glass. Actually, I knock my hand against the Star Wars glass and it falls to the tiled counter, where it shatters into a thousand little pieces.

Tilted Posh Nosh

Another tilted building. I think that's Posh Nosh on the left.

tilted posh nosh

Tilted Java John's

Thought I'd spread these out across the week. Here's the building that Java John's is in. It's not as dramatic as some of the others, but I do like the people somehow.

titled hartung building

Constitution Day Parade 2010

Nevada City holds one of the oldest Constitution Day Parades in the country. Having never been in a city that holds an annual Constitution Day Parade, I have to say I think that's something like saying "we have the oldest Fourth of October fireworks display in the world!" However, having just moved here from the city with the oldest volunteer-run Labor Day Parade in the country, it is nice for us to watch a parade in September. I had expected that the parade would be a repeat of the 4th of July Parade, but it was very different. For one thing, there weren't gangs of Tea Partiers swarming around. But there were lots of Democrats. I guess we see who cares more about the Constitution.

There are pictures and more curmudgeonliness after the jump.

Tilted Broad Street Bistro and New York Hotel

One of the nice things about a parade is that it gives me one of those rare opportunities to take pictures of Nevada City buildings without a bunch of cars parked in front of them. This is a part of my continuing series of tilted pictures.

If you assume the street and sidewalk are horizontal, our city starts to look like it should: slightly askew.

tilted broad street bistro

Of course, once the parade is over, you start getting cars again.

tilted new york hotel

Having just walked by these, my mind can't help but push them back up when looking at these pictures, but a few days in Boulder should help that.

I put a shot of the old firehouse here.

Red Dog Road

Since we didn't have a wicked cool Labor Day Parade to watch last weekend, we decided to go for a bit of an explore-about. I pulled out the ole map and randomly picked a road for us to go travel from end-to-end. I picked Red Dog Road, both because it has a cool name and because it ends on a peninsula in Rollins Lake.

Along the way, there's one of those abandoned mines that are so prevalent around here. The mining done in this area was not the kind you see in old westerns, where a couple of crotchedy old prospectors dig a shaft and pull a cart with a donkey. The big efforts around here are of the type where a company basically takes a big water cannon and blasts away an entire hillside, turning a lovely Sierra Nevada mountain into Utah.

But there is some kind of interesting beauty after it has been allowed to grow back; it's just a kind of rugged, scarred beauty.

Mining Sign

Red Dog Road passes through You Bet and through the remains of the Placer Diggings. I'm not really sure why you'd make a park and then post No Trespassing signs. Perhaps the park is that two foot strip between the tree and the Thomas Brady Mining Park sign?

The lake at the other end is unexciting, but what I really wanted to point out was this: Although the very nice National Forest map of the area shows Red Dog road as a paved road, there are vast portions that are not paved. For the most part, we found the gravel and dirt bits could be navigated by our little Outback Sport (and we saw a Civic along the way doing fine).

Then we came to this helpful sign:

Cliff Sign

Hard to believe there are enough people up there for a "Red Dog You Bet Association." I guess the budget is low for signage. This is what they're warning of:

gravel with truck and tree

I believe that's Greenhorn Creek down in the gravel pit. I think you'll agree with me that it's safe to say that Red Dog Road is not entirely paved. I've helpfully annotated the picture for you:

annotated gravel pit

This canyon is entirely made of gravel bits. There is no real solidity this side of those trees. However, it is possible to drive through here in a truck.

truck on gravel hill

But I wouldn't do it in a little car. We chose to turn back up the road toward You Bet and drive all the way around (down Colfax Highway to 49 to Red Dog Road) to drive down from the other direction, so we took the whole road except for the part in the gravel pit.

gravel cliff

I enjoyed a walk down into the pit along the stream. I can't wait to see what it's like when the waters are running in the spring.

Censorship and the Count

Is it possible for censorship to make something dirty?

via Emma Bull.


People! People! Are any of you science fiction or fantasy fans? (How many of you were at last night's showing of Metropolis?) Did you know that next year's World Science Fiction Society Conference (a.k.a. WorldCon) is being held only 1 hour and 41 minutes from my house?

That's right, next year's WorldCon is being held in Reno. They're calling it Renovation. I know my geekitude is hanging out here, but I'm very excited. I haven't been to a WorldCon since Glasgow in 2005. I'm not a big conventioneer, but this is a great opportunity to see so many writers speak so close to home.

Maybe the convention will follow us around every five years as we move. That would be fun!

Also, it looks like they stole their logo from the Vegas libraries:

Library WorldCon

Play with Me!

Been traveling. Not much to say. Let's play a meme game.

I am inviting begging you to play along!

This is a game called Internet Captions. It's a bit like the old telephone game, except that verbal communication alternates with visual. A player chooses or writes a caption or headline (something that you might see as a caption to an image in a newspaper). The next player reads the caption and draws a picture representing it. Then the third person looks at the picture (does not read the text) and writes what he/she thinks the caption should be. After seven rounds, the last caption is compared to the first, everyone looks at the evolution and hilarity ensues.

In the internet version, to play you follow these rules:

  1. Look at the end of this post. It will either contain a caption (text) or it will have a drawing (image).
    • If the final item below is a caption (text), then your job is to draw a picture of the text and then scan it in (or draw it in your favorite image software) so that it is available for your blog post.
    • If the final item below is a drawing (image), then your job is to write a caption for the image. Keep it fairly short (say 5 to 15 words).
  2. Copy these rules into a new blog post on your blog.
  3. Put your drawing (image) or caption (text) at the bottom of the post on your blog.
  4. Do NOT link back to this post (we don't want the players from your side looking back and cheating being unduly influenced).
  5. DO put a comment in this post with a link to your post.
  6. The originator of this game will subscribe to comments and follow the chain(s) down until there are seven entries, then he or she will reveal the chain in another post.
  7. Everyone will laugh and be happy.