By the time you read this, I’ll be on the road with a precious cargo – six of my best photographic artworks – for “Drop-Off Day” at the New York State Fair. This seems to be part of an all-encompassing “drop-off-3-day-weekend” with my three entries for the Big E shipped yesterday, and my four (5) entries for Altamont being couriered to the Fairgrounds tomorrow.
So as I’m driving along the New York State Thruway with my entries… I’m thinking about things. Again. I do this a lot. So bear with me on these things.
I’ve attended back-to-back funerals this week. Last Wednesday was the services for my aunt Dolores. It was a very dignified service and the staff at St. Thomas the Apostle did an excellent job. If I could say one thing about the journeys of my life, it always seems that at some point in time I will find myself at St. Thomas the Apostle for baptisms, for weddings, and for funerals. Such is the way of the world.
The next day, I attended a funeral service for one of my teachers at my high school, Ahmed Naqi. This was my first experience attending a funeral at a mosque, and although I couldn’t understand any of the imam’s commands or prayers, I did understand the devotion and piety and spiritual strength of the attendees as they prayed for the soul of a good man. The whole experience of two very emotional funerals left me, for lack of a better term, spiritually drained.
I’m 6,000 miles away from the big 100,000 mile marker for the Blackbird. With that in mind, I’m looking at replacing anything and everything in terms of the car’s belts, fluids and the like. If I can keep this car going for another 53,000 miles after that, I’ll have surpassed the mileage achieved by my first car, the 1991 Pontiac 6000. It seems so long ago that I owned that “beater with a heater.” Almost a lifetime and a half ago.
I’ve been enjoying the Sirius/XM satellite radio in my car, especially the old-time-radio dramas and comedies and westerns on the Sirius/XM Radio Classics. If the schedule works out the way it should, I’ll enjoy episodes of Our Miss Brooks (Eve Arden in a hilarious sitcom about a high school teacher), the Phil Harris – Alice Faye Show (bandleader Phil Harris and his wife, movie bombshell Alice Faye, in their own domestic comedy), and a Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar marathon (Bob Bailey in the transcribed adventures of an insurance investigator with an action-packed expense account). Good stuff. Combine that with a Gunsmoke episode, a sci-fi story from X Minus One, and an experimental broadcast from the CBS Radio Workshop, and it’ll be a fun trip today.
I’ve been rebuilding my white tower computer system for the past week. It’s involved reformatting my entire C: drive, upgrading to Windows 10, and reinstalling all my software. Luckily I was fortunate to store my photos and writings and music and other materials on ancillary hard drives, so they weren’t lost in the crash. It’s just been a pain in the tuchus to get everything reinstalled. And when I figure that I’ve worked with personal computers going all the way back to the old TERAK standalone desktop computers at Hamilton College, going forward through a Packard Bell 386 laptop I purchased at Sears, and a few second-hand computers bought at various locations throughout the Capital District – none of which are around any more – if we were talking in the language of science fiction, I’m currently on the Tennant edition of my tower, having just regenerated from my Eccleston edition. Please do not ask me to explain this, or I will club you upside the head with a sonic screwdriver.
There was a recent article in Forbes magazine about the National Basketball League of Canada, my winter employer. It was a very positive and fair article about the league and its accomplishments. And I should mention that the league’s Commissioner, David Magley, is a former member of the Albany Patroons. I’m telling you, being a Patroon is a good thing for your future career.
If someone had said to me fifteen years ago that I would go from a Nikon CoolPix 800 camera to nearly a dozen digital and film cameras, I would have thought they nuts. Just goes to show you what happens over time. Then again, I wouldn’t have brought six artworks to Syracuse today had I known all this.
You know how some people can fall down the Wikipedia rabbit hole? My rabbit hole is YouTube. I start pulling videos for K-Chuck Radio and next thing I know, I’m watching a documentary on electronic tabletop football. Yeah.
I’m driving by Hamilton College, my alma mater, right now. Dear is thy homestead, glade and glen… okay, enough of that. I realize that one of my pictures, The Walkway, is among the six that I’m bringing to Syracuse this year. It’s also the first photo from dear old Ham Tech that I’ve ever entered into competition.
This photo was taken with my first “gifted camera,” a Rolleiflex Automat MX that was donated by my good friend Teri Conroy. I’ll probably see Teri when she brings her Wunsapana Farm llamas to the Big E this year. As for “gifted cameras,” I’ve received two more in the past year – a beautiful Leica M3 and a sturdy Argus C3, both rangefinders. Next year, I believe that those cameras will produce images that will be competition-season worthy.
It’s a beautiful day today. Beautiful days are good things. They’re rare and precious, and they disappear before you’re finished enjoying them.
Time to keep driving. I’m almost at Syracuse now. Turning Stone Casino is just ahead. No. Not stopping. At least not this time. Maybe on the way home to give me a “driving break.” That, and I have to decide if I really want to make a charitable donation to the Oneida Indian Nation or not. Maybe I’ll just enjoy the wonderful world of Sav-On gasoline.
In about a week or so, the local Hess gasoline stations will convert to Speedway gas stations. What does that mean? Most likely… no more Hess toy trucks in our area. Serious bummer.
For the first time in what feels like forever, I’ve actually skipped watching a Marvel movie on opening night. Yep, I didn’t go out to watch the new Fantastic Four movie. And that’s odd for me, because I love the Fantastic Four. How times have changed.
All right, listen. I’m going to keep driving. But I want everybody to have a good day today, get some sunshine and enjoy the beautiful summer.
And wish me luck. 🙂
And safe travels. 😀
Good luck and safe travels, Chuck. And I am curious how you can write your blog while driving to Syracuse.
Bill – it’s easier to do that than it is to write my blog on the way to Binghamton. 🙂
Chuck, you are right about the Hess trucks. Available this year only on line.
If you see this before you leave Syracuse, Coleman’s Irish Pub on Tipperary Hill is a treat. Their Guiness beef stew is to die for….
Good luck…as always!
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