Another sign of fall: The water at Scotts Flat Lake is very low and the trees are growing rocks:

Hey, there aren't any guesses for this week's "Where in Nevada County" entry. Nobody know where to get money off the ceiling up on the mountain?

Get Your Motor Running

Another caption for another indicommons picture. Please put your own alternate caption into the comments.

The original is from The State Library of Queensland on The Commons.

Où est la Banque?

Was this already a branch of Tri-Counties Bank or did they really get a sign up this quickly? Bank failures aren't good, except maybe for the sign companies.

Maybe This Should Be the Team Movie

Playing Horse

Last week was the annual Draft Horse Classic.


Where in Nevada County: Money

Here's some money on a ceiling. Where in Nevada County can you find this money?

You Know. For Kids!

Another caption for another indicommons picture. Please put your own alternate caption into the comments. Let's see if I can keep this up as a weekly task, too.

The original is from the National Library of Ireland on The Commons.

Italian Festival and Constitution Day

On Saturday, we wandered over to the Italian Festival, where there was bocce ball!

bocce balls

Those are some nice courts over at Gateway Park. There was good food and even a bit of cannoli. The Goomba's booth was the most conscientious about keeping money separate from hands that touched food. Good job Goomba's!

But mostly I just sat and watched the bowlers:

bocce players

bocce player with hat

bocce player with form

A lot of people would come over and stand behind me as they watched the matches. They'd invariably try take guesses at the rules. I tried to explain that bocce is like curling without the sweeping, but that didn't seem to help anyone.

There was one wee kerfuffle on the court about the rules.


But all involved seemed to conduct themselves with adequate composure.

The only real question left to me now is: Where is my Polish festival? I'd like my heritage honored, too! I'm not sure what game is particularly Polish. Grandma never really stressed her Polishness. She never even made pierogies. Of course, we would also require a Scottish festival (caber tossing!), an Irish festival (road bowling!), and a German festival (Settlers of Catan!)

As I downloaded pictures from the bocce tournament, I realized that I hadn't ever posted the Constitution Day Parade pictures. The parade was pretty much the same as last year, so I didn't take a lot of pictures. I think Senator Sargent was added to the group of marching presidents to celebrate his writing of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution this year, but I didn't get a picture of him.

I did get a pretty good picture of the fife corps warming up:


As well as some Vikings wondering when their festival is going to be held:


And finally, there was a nice fly-over:


Where in Nevada County: Flowers

Aww, pretty metal flowers. Where are they?

It was hard to position so that the pictures didn't catch an identifying road sign or two.

By Nightfall (Michael Cunningham)

On Friday, the strange objects floating in the sky reminded me that Autumn has arrived and we must all prepare for the coming slow march into Winter. It seemed that a good way to ignore the feeling of impending doom was to find a place to eat in the great outdoors. So I picked a place with tables in the parking lot out back of the Kmart.

I am all class.

Upon entering the Afternoon Deli, I ordered my free-range chicken sandwich at the counter. I forgot to grab a can of soda, so I fought back upstream through the line to get to the small refrigerator near the door and then swam back downstream to the counter to pay. Isn't it supposed to be Spring when the salmon do their run?

Don't get me wrong; there was absolutely no spawning going on. Not on my watch.


Another caption for another indicommons picture. Please put your own alternate caption into the comments. Let's see if I can keep this up as a weekly task, too.

The original is from the National Library of Ireland on The Commons.

How Far Are You From McDonald's?

I haven't actually set foot inside a McDonald's this century, I don't think. It's not that I hate fast food; it's just that they made me mad two visits in a row, and I haven't been back.

Guess I can hold a grudge.

At any rate, I saw this interesting map of the contiguous US drawn by distance from a McDonald's restaurant. I thought back through all the places I've lived to see how close to them I've been. Though I'm now living in a city that doesn't have its own McDonald's, the closest is a mere 2.8 miles away in Grass Valley. In the last 25 years, I've lived in Maryland, New York, Scotland and California. This is the farthest I've lived from a McDonald's since 1988. Hard to believe that the farthest was in New York.

I found my homes on Google and got directions to the closest McDonald's. This means these are distances to where McDonald's restaurants are now, and they could have been closer or farther when I actually lived there. With the exception of Riverdale, though, I seem to remember all of these locations being more or less accurate. (In the '90s, the McDonald's locations in Maryland jumped around a lot because of acquisitions.) Also, these are all driving distances.

City Distance (mi)

Nevada City, CA


Greenbelt, MD


Glasgow, Scotland

1.4 (on Maryhill, don't remember ever going up there)

Beltsville, MD


College Park, MD


Bowie, MD


Riverdale, MD

0.3 (This might have been a Roy Rogers at the time)

Greenbelt, MD


Waterford, NY


Troy, NY


Team Movies: A Call for Help

Dear readers, it is time once again to come to you, hat in hand, to request aid and assistance.

I'm not sure that I need both aid and assistance, but I'm going to ask anyway!

We have decided to start a podcast and the premise is that we're going to apply team remote retrospective facilitation techniques to the review of a movie. Now, that may not sound exciting to you, but trust me the kids are going to lap this stuff up.

The problem is that I'm having trouble picking a film. The main restriction is that I want the film to be available streaming on Netflix because that's the only way I can guarantee everybody participating will get to watch the movie. And so many films I've thought of are not available for streaming.

Can you help me by making suggestions in the comments section? It's OK if you don't know if they're on Netflix; I'll do the searching. I just need a bigger pool to pick from. And since I'm hoping this will become a regular podcast, we'll need several movies to make multiple episodes.

Here are the kinds of things I've been looking at. The important thing is that there is a group of people trying to accomplish something, mostly assuming that they're all trying to work together (but hidden agendas are OK).

  • Team Heist Movies:
    For me the obvious place to go was something like Ocean's 11, The Bank Job or The Italian Job. The latter two are not streaming, and I definitely want to do the original Rat Pack Ocean's Eleven, but not for the first episode.
  • Westerns:
    I was thinking of The Magnificent Seven, of course. But neither it nor Bug's Life are streaming. A lot of westerns are about lone fighters or pairs; I'd like a bigger team than 2. Surely there were other ones.
  • War Movies:
    I figure this is an area that must be rich for mining, but it's not something I've got a lot of depth in. I can't think of a single example. Saving Private Ryan is not streaming!
  • Quests:
    One of our reviewers has requested that we skip science fiction and fantasy, which is just as well because I don't want to spend the time to watch all three Lord of the Rings movies. But if we get some good ones on the list, maybe we'll convince her later down the road. I guess Mystery Men fits in here. I like that one because it is intentionally team-oriented, but it is not streaming.
  • Sports:
    You know, a lot of sports movies seem to really be about one or two players and not really about the team. I liked Whip It, about a roller derby team, but it might be too much about only one of the skaters. There's always Bad News Bears, huh? (Not streaming!) It's possible that sports teams are a little too obvious anyway.
  • Other:
    I don't know what to call these, but they all involve groups of people doing things. I especially like Waking Ned Divine, where a whole town pulls one over on the lottery board. The Goonies is another one I couldn't put into a category. Neither is streaming.

So, what do you think? Did I miss a major category to search? Are there movies you'd suggest? The comments are open!

Where in Nevada County: Additional

Where can you find this helpful direction to find "additional"?

What Were The Skies Like When You Were Young?

Walked out of the house today and fell immediately to the ground, I was so worried I'd hit my head on the sky. What are all those dirty greyish white things up there about?

Obviously, the arrival of the Constitution Day Parade (A week before Constitution Day? What's up with that?) and these objects in the sky are some sort of indicator that we have definitely left Summer behind, no matter what the thermometer may claim.

For those of you outside the area (and especially those of you back in Maryland who are dealing with 4+ days of straight rain), you have to understand that it hasn't rained here since Memorial Day, as far as I can remember. These clouds are a reminder that we are no longer in that glorious time when we can plan a weekend activity without even a scintilla of doubt about being rained out. It won't be long until we're back to having do doubt, but then it will be winter and we'll have no doubt because getting rained out will be guaranteed.

Ah, Summer I will surely miss you. Bring on the snow.

Here's a picture from near my (real) sister's house. Earthquakes and floods on the East Coast, plus the normal humidity and hurricanes. It's nice to be in California.

Mrs. Doyle's Cow

One of my favorite things is the project called indicommons: Museums from all over the world are putting their photographs onto flickr without usage restrictions. I added their feed to my reader and every day I get a batch of new pictures to look at. There are a good number of shots that aren't interesting to me, but every day brings a gem or two.

So, of course, the best thing to do with art is to deface it.

Here is today's defacement:

From this picture. Feel free to suggest alternative captions in the comments.

Where in Nevada County: A Walk in the Woods

There's a rather nice path in the woods in the county.

It has its own instructional shack.

And some wooden bits.

And aren't we always looking for this sign?

So, where can you find this?