Wednesday, November 9
Sunday, October 2
I commute to work eight miles or so down a fairly lovely two lane road that passes under the Blue Ridge Parkway, so close over head that you could almost touch it, as it looks from a car. The roadside is being developed with more condos, small plazas, views of new office buildings. But to the west are intermittent views of the Blue Ridge as it heads off southeast. On clear days you can see Mt. Pisgah being nibbled by the Rat.
When you drive the same route every day, you can go on auto-pilot and listen to npr while your subconscious driver “George” watches out for lights, schoolbuses and tailgaters. You can glance at the views or ignore them. But there’s more nature to see at closer hand if you keep your eyes open. The other day I noticed three things on my commute.
At the Rock Hill Rd. intersection two large flocks of birds were lifting off from the overhead wires, swirling in their Escher-like ballet, one from the leftside, one from the right, each flock shifting, turning in Moebius twists and changing shades of grey, then resettling on another pole. All of this happened as I slowed down for the cars at the changing light.
On the long slope up to the Parkway, the parallel lines of electric wires were bejeweled with spider webs, ballooning and swaying in the air, made visible by droplets of fog on every strand of every web. As I drove I passed miles of spider webs above the commuters.
Coming down the slope I looked out past the clearing made for the new office building, the gap where you can look at the stores and traffic of the U.S. highway that parallels your road, or you can look beyond, to the Blue Ridge. This morning the Ridge was invisible, and a dark ribbon of a tree topped lower and nearer ridge was the only mountain view, lying atop a landscape of white fog that had settled over the French Broad River Valley.
Posted by JLH at 10/02/2005
Monday, September 19
Howl's Moving Castle
Okay, this is an experment to see whether I can post a book cover image because I want to create a book blog. This summer I sawthe new Miyazaki film, Howl's Moving Castle, based on the book of the same name by Diana Wynne Jones. .... It looks as though I'm going to have to look into copyright issues, Amazon policies, and what not. More later.
Now it's later, and I did a lot of research and asking people. I found a library that buys rights to pictures and others who just publish them as presumed fair use.
This image is of the Greenwillow U.S. hardcover edition of the book. The library I run owns this edition.
Posted by JLH at 9/19/2005
Friday, August 5
I lived for ten years in a house that had gold-flocked wallpaper in the family bathroom. My bedroom was "decorated" in red and blue, not my choices at all. The carpeting was red, the bedspread and curtains a weird red and blue swirling print with touches of white and some black accents. The colors were really terrible, but I never tried to change them. There was too much life going on in that house. But when i was getting ready to leave I thought, I've been here ten whole years of my life. How long would it have taken to change the color schemes and materials? And then how long would I have been able to enjoy the new setting, done with personal preferences?
Now I am in a house that I love and have lived in, off and on, for 18 years. At one point, thank goodness, i painted the mustard yellow kitchen some warm shades of rosy brick colors. But the floor all these years has been wrteched old torn, pitted, scuffed linoleum. Now, in the space of a few days, I have a shining oak floor. The wonder of it!
Posted by JLH at 8/05/2005
Friday, July 29
I want to talk about a few things: family and friends visited, oysters and clams, newfake wood decks and real Majolica ware, the original Toll House and the Southeastern Massachusetts cranberry bogs, the Boston Globe and the Boston Red Sox.
Oysters on the Pacific Coast were lightly dusted in meal and sauteed just enough to be succulent -- how to describe the taste of fresh oysters, shucked and lightly dredged in stone-ground corn meal or flour, then sauteed perfectly and served on a plate? On Depoe Bay and on the Columbia River in Astoria two days in a row I ate these juicy mollusks.
Then in July, on Plymouth Harbor, in sight of the Mayflower II, I feasted on a lunch of whole fried clams, often called "bellies" to distinguish them from "clammstrips" -- plump, juicy and salty clams, hot and crisp from the frier. You dip each one in the tangy Tartar sauce and shake vinegar on the fries
Posted by JLH at 7/29/2005