This may be my favorite picture of me and my dad:
I had placed this sometime around 1973, but thanks to the incredible archive at Doug Gilford’s Mad Cover Site, I’ve discovered it’s got to be at least early 1975 which would make me 4 years old. I’m reading the March issue, Dad’s got Super Special #14, and the December ’74 issue is there in the foreground.
I can remember that bedspread and its texture; and the feel and weight of those dark yellow plastic plates that appear to have some bologna sandwiches on them; and the brown plastic bowl, too.
It looks like I’ve got a kids’ book at lower right, but I’d bet I’ve set it aside in favor of Spy vs. Spy.
Inspired by that source material, I cobbled together my own fantasy adventurer’s costume for Halloween:
No parental assistance required: Sweat pants and a sweatshirt that looks like I removed the collar for that deep-V look that’s all the rage among dragon-slayers; cape from an old…bedspread, maybe? I can remember the material was heavy, but also kind of clingy and stretchy; tunic-vest-thing that I cut and stitched together myself out of some burlap-type cloth mom had around; and a belt that I probably wore every other day of the year, too.
The sword? A yardstick covered in aluminum foil, of course. Which means it stands to reason – as if it’s not completely clear already – that yes, I am in fact wearing a foil hat. (Technically, my helm was a white knit hat covered in foil. Still: FOIL HAT.)
And now that “foil” sounds funny, I’ll move on.
If I remember correctly, my fellow D&D wannabe Mike S. wore a pretty slick elf ranger costume he and his mom had made.
More than once, I think, Mike and I took advantage of the trick-or-treat scheduling differences between the village of Hartville itself – where he lived – and Lake Township: One usually scheduled it on Halloween proper, while the other set it on the closest preceding weekend night, or something like that, making it possible for us to hit both of our neighborhoods. I seem to think we also really liked going out in the early hours of trick-or-treat, dropping off our candy haul at home, and then going back out after dark to roam the neighborhood and try to scare the kids we knew.
Other bits and pieces nicely caught up in this photo: The Halloween decorations – store-bought and handmade alike – that my mom put out every year; the long-gone brick fireplace and wood paneling of our family room; the wooden set of coasters in their little boxy holder up there on the mantle (these go back practically to the beginning of my memory).
For all the dorkiness captured in this picture – of me, that is; nothing against our family decor - I remain oddly proud of this costume, since I made the whole thing myself.
Plus: Foil hat.
These were preceded by an amazing sunrise that I couldn’t shoot because I was driving. This scene was right down the street, though, so when I got home, I walked back for some pictures. I really like the way the top shot and the panorama came out.
(Click on any photo to view a larger version in my Flickr photostream.)
There’s yet another robin’s nest above our front porch light this year. Yesterday, there were four blue eggs in it. When I got back from my run this morning, I noticed a piece of blue shell on the concrete.
I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a photo of hatchlings that I’m absolutely certain are less than a day old, or that includes the newbies side-by-side with unhatched eggs. (And it looks like #3 might be arriving soon, if I’m judging the chip on that egg correctly.) The picture’s a little blurry, but it’s difficult to shoot into the nest sight unseen, and I didn’t want to cause any more of a disturbance.
Finding some odd stuff while cleaning and reorganizing my office. Here’s a newspaper archive photo of James Earl Jones and Mark Hamill:
I love it: It feels genuine.
According to the caption information, it’s New York, September 1987, following a Broadway performance of Fences, which Jones was starring in at the time. (The caption also notes their roles in Star Wars, indicating that the saga connection might be what prompted Associated Press photographer Frankie Ziths to get the shot.)
Looks like something Lovecraftian trying to dig its way out:
And now let’s check in with Giant Vintage Kenner Chewie on the weather conditions at 8:43 a.m. Dec. 30, 2012:
I’m planning a few posts about this summer’s big family trip to Turks & Caicos. Quick summary: Best vacation I’ve ever taken. First time in the Caribbean, first time snorkeling, gorgeous surroundings, total lack of internet or cell phone connectivity, and a great week with my wife and daughter, mom, and my two brothers and their families.
There are hundreds of photos from several cameras to sort through, but for starters, I’ve put most of my Droid snapshots in this set: Turks and Caicos, July 2012.
This year’s nest popped up overnight and includes a bit of green Christmas ribbon.
Just testing out Instagram for Android.
So, the Orlando Museum of Art is putting together an exhibition of Florida photography called “Picturing My Florida: A Grassroots Portrait of the Sunshine State” and they’ve posted the entries under consideration on Facebook.
Three of my friend Jim Carchidi‘s photos are in the running, and all of them remind me of some of the things I have missed from time to time since leaving central Florida in 1999.
Not only that, but I think Jim’s entries all include aspects which are particularly Central Florida-centric and tap into the region’s history and identity – they’re not just fantastic eye-catching shots of things which happen to be in Florida. To sum up: I think Jim’s art deserves inclusion in the exhibit, and the more Facebook “likes” his photos get, the better the chance that will happen. So:
Clicking on any of the photos below will take you to that picture’s entry within the OMA’s Facebook “Made in Florida” gallery, where you can provide the all-powerful “Like.”
You can also peruse the entire gallery of Made in Florida Entries.
I also love that Jim’s entries also push some geek buttons: NASA space shuttle launches, Space Mountain at Walt Disney World, and giant monsters echoing a faded age (of sorts).