Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween at My House

Ghostly Trick or Treat

The award for best Halloween line of this year goes to the kid who said regarding the fake skeleton on our mail box: "Is that the skeleton of Michael Jackson?" He had a point. There was some resemblance in facial structure.

Nickeled and Dimed or "Defaced"


Ever feel tired of being you? Today, I'm not referring to depression or low self-esteem; I'm referring to feeling at war with your body. Sometimes when I talk with patients about relationships, I'm not alluding to relationships with other people but to the relationship with one's own body. This relationship is critical to people with eating disorders who lose touch with the natural requirements of their bodies. They sometimes need to be retrained to get in touch with their bodies basic signals, e.g. "I am hungry" or "I am full."
My "issue" if I dare to call it that, is more simple. My body isn't doing what I want it to do which is take no end of abuse and neglect and keep on ticking like a veritable Timex ad or the Energizer Bunny. At what point does getting older start catching up with one? I'm not old by most standards (unless you ask a kid) but middle age is affecting my stamina and nickel and diming me with minor complaints. Some I attribute to the female hormones of middle age (woe is us) and some to simple aging. An achy leg, a little extra moodiness, forgetting a word here and there, the sudden onset of insomnia. Vision changes, bifocals, lactose intolerance. Fun words associated with being older. I can still on occasion get in touch with my "inner teenager" but my body may protest.
Why all this whingeing? Because I have a rash. A silly stupid little rash on my face. Who knows the cause? The dermatologist I saw yesterday didn't. Dermatitis she called it. This means an inflammation of the skin--duh. I didn't need a specialist for that. She gave me a steroid cream which hasn't helped a whit. I'm going insane with itching. I don't look too bad, a little blotchy perhaps. We'll see if today's patients even notice. I hope they will provide a distraction from being irritated.
Yesterday I canceled work because I needed to be sure what I had wasn't infectious and because, to be honest, wanting to rip your eyeballs out with your fingernails can be a little distracting. My spouse kindly told me that at least I don't have to work as hard getting my face done for Halloween. If you feel like a witch and look like a witch, who needs a costume?
Back to relationships. I feel like mine with my body isn't going so hot right now. There is nothing serious wrong with me so I probably have no right to complain. I am one of the healthiest people I know except for hayfever and a propensity to get head colds. But when I feel like this I think more often about retirement than I should. After all I couldn't afford to retire and would probably be bored to death.
All I want is for my body and me to get along. Since marriage counseling isn't an option, do you think I should get a divorce?
By the way, the book Nickel and Dimed is a great read. Very humbling to know how hard it is to live on the paycheck that a lot of Americans bring home. Enough to scare me off retirement just yet!

Chinook Pass

For Tuesday Challenge--Tall.

Chinook Pass

Elevation 5432--Tall enough? I passed over this pass en route to Seattle on my road trip through the northwestern states. Chinook Pass crosses the Cascade Mountains between Eastern and Western Washington. It is a part of Mount Rainier National Park but I only caught a brief glimpse of the mountain itself from the road. The pass just reaches into the sub-alpine regions and the flowers were beautiful even in August. I wish I had had the time to stop and hike a bit but I was driving with a deadline (arrive in time for dinner with my family).
I think it is interesting that part of the sign is carved into the log and another part is on a painted board added later. I wonder if the sign itself was erected before the park was created. Mt Rainier National Park was the fifth national park in the United States; it was established in 1899. There was a Forest Reserve prior to the establishment of the park itself. We are so fortunate that people had the foresight to establish these parks! The park is definitely on my must revisit list.
Here is another view from the pass:

View from Chinook Pass

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Who am I

For Unique photos.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Photo Sharks--Angles


Thursday Challenge--Scary


I wouldn't want to meet these characters in a dark alley! Come to think of it they are in a dark alley. Continuing this week's graffiti theme.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


The screamer

I remember my first experience of a psychiatric hospital. It was long before I ever considered being a psychiatrist. Some one I know was admitted after a suicide attempt and I went to visit. I cannot tell that person’s story because it would be a privacy violation. But I can tell you how I felt.
I didn’t really know what to expect on a psych ward. I felt scared and bad enough about what had happened to my friend and didn’t really understand what was going on. It was a creepy place. For one thing, you have to be buzzed in through a locked door. When the door closes behind you it has a feeling of finality as if you too are being admitted for an indefinite stay and not just as a visitor. You realize that someone has to let you out. You cannot just go. At the door they ask your name and business and check to make sure no one is loitering near the exit before letting you in. If you bring something for a patient, they screen it for “sharps”—knives, razors, scissors—and other contraband, including electronic devices. Gameboys, walkmen, radios and so forth are not allowed. Don’t try baking a nail file in a cake!
The ward is full of strangers who carry that frightening label “mentally ill.” At my first visit, I’m just little more than a kid myself and full of all the strange and unfair stereotypes of the mentally ill. Will there be dangerous people there? I guess I must have been picturing my experiences of mentally ill homeless people—strange, eccentric, bad-smelling, talking to themselves or cursing madly.
I remember in actuality there was one person restrained in a chair in the hallway. I had never seen anyone in leather restraints (they really are made of leather). It is very disturbing to see someone tied down like that. One woman sat in one of those institutional chairs common to hospital waiting rooms, rocking and shuffling her feet. Now I know that she had akithisia, a kind of inner restlessness that is a side effect of certain psychiatric medications.
The ward must have been smoky although I don’t remember that. Back then, smoking was still allowed on hospital wards. A few years later I “rotated” which means did a 4-6 week educational period on that self-same ward. Patients would line up at the nursing station during a set time period to pick up their cigarettes from a nurse. Matches and lighters were not allowed to protect the patients from themselves and their fellow inmates so the cigarettes were lit by staff. During cigarette breaks the smoke made it hard for me to breathe. Cigarettes often became an occasion for power struggles between staff and patients. Someone would want their smoke at a non-approved time or would be denied a cigarette for reasons unknown. Now smoking is banned and smokers ask for a nicotine patch if they are concerned about withdrawal.
As my experience with psychiatry grew, I learned that there were times when the distinction between patient and staff become uncertain except for who had control of the keys. Sometimes the staff seemed more unreasonable and erratic than those they were supposed to help. Access to the door was used in a passive-aggressive manner. When I was a junior resident and did not yet have a ward key (this was at another hospital), staff would delight in making you wait to exit the ward. It was an insecure feeling looking at the wire mesh over the small window in the door and hoping that someone would buzz you out. If you complained about the wait too vociferously, a nasty staff person might take it out on you in some other way.
Psychiatrists refer to the entire ecosystem of a psychiatric ward as the “milieu”. There are books and journal articles written about the milieu and trainees should read about the “dynamics” of the milieu. The milieu truly is an ecosystem. At times it is in balance with caring, compassionate, well-rested staff and patients who get better and behave. At other times it feels like a prison just before a riot. The staff is burned out and vindictive. The patients are burned out, angry, manic or psychotic or in full drug withdrawal. At the worst of times, mercifully rare, there is danger on a psych ward. On occasion the stress is so extreme that we experience a bit of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), the modern term for “shell shock.” Even typing this has elevated my adrenaline levels.
Just as general hospital wards have a nursing station, so too do psychiatric wards. The nursing station is psych wards is generally locked away from the patients. Charts and medication are stored there. There are phones, computers, a textbook or two, and cameras to monitor the “quiet room”—a modern version of the padded cell—and the front door. Strange though the place is, after a few months of working there it starts to feel like a safe haven in a storm of wounded emotions.
Lest you think that psychiatric wards are evil, terrible places, let me reassure you. They are not fun, pretty or nice, but generally they exist to help people out of their emotional “bottoms.” There are no more straight jackets and there are strict laws and regulations to protect the rights of patients. The use of restraints is ever more “restrained” by law, custom and the emphasis on patients’-rights. Inpatient psychiatric stays are usually short, on average less than 7 days. This is dictated both by standards of patient care and by standards of “managed care.” In short, just as there have been accusations of managed care demanding “drive by deliveries”, so too are psychiatric stays shortened to save insurance companies money.
I’ve lost touch with my friend who I hope is doing well. My first experience did not frighten me away from psychiatry but it wasn’t the determining factor either. I now avoid inpatient work in my own practice. The memories, both good and bad remain. So too does my sympathy for those who spent time at the other side of the locked ward.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Decorated cans

I took a wrong turn to avoid traffic and wound up in an alley not too far from my home. In 24 years in the same neighborhood I had missed the work of these artists.

Saturday Photo Hunt--Pink

Dutch Flower

My husband went to Holland in the spring and all I got were some lousy bulbs and a really good Edam. Actually I loved the bulbs except that they were labeled in Dutch and I could not identify them all. This lovely pink flower showed up just in time. We've still not had our first frost (the "frost date" for my area is October 1st) so the flower is blooming amidst the fallen leaves. Someone tell me, is this a zinnia or a dahlia?

Friday, October 26, 2007

Study in Yellow

Study in Yellow

I love this photo! I really need to go back and take more pictures, this time with a tripod for longer exposures. This is a dormitory building at the University of Chicago.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Photo Friday--The City

Chicago skyline, north

Chicago from on high (atop the Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier).

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Kindness of Strangers

Strangers on Broadway

Have you ever helped out a stranger? Probably you have. Sometimes perhaps kindness was repaid in kind; other times someone probably took advantage of you. I can think of instances of both in my life. Times when I was grateful beyond words that I had helped someone and times when I was spitting mad that the poor soul I had rescued was conning me.
The latter is probably more of an urban phenomenon. In my neighborhood it works like this. A poor soul comes to your door. His or her car has broken down while they were visiting a sick relative (usually a parent). They have no money to pay for gas/train or bus fare/ a phone call. Being the Good Samaritan that you are, you give them a bit extra just in case. Later you realize you’ve been had. The woman who came to my door sobbed her heart out about her mother who had just died in the nearby hospital of Sickle Cell Disease. I was just suspicious enough to ask her what floor her mother had been on. (I trained in that hospital). I was just gullible enough to give her $20 bucks. Later I checked. There was no such ward at the hospital. My best guess is the tears were so realistic because the woman was in dire need, but for her next drug hit. Drug withdrawal mimics severe depression quite effectively. She didn’t have to work too hard to dredge up the tears. Both my husband and my mother have also fallen for similar stories. Now we don’t give anyone money.
Another local scam is to bring a gas can to a busy intersection and claim to have run out of gas. It could be legitimate you think to yourself. Except when too many people pull the same stunt at the same corner. That strains even my credulity.
I can think of two notable occasions when I was kind to a stranger and was paid back more than in kind. Once I was en route to Paris and had just debarked from a long flight. I was in Brussels and needed to transfer to the train. This was in my starving student days and I was pretty cash poor. I was also pretty credit poor.
I saw a young man in line ahead of me at the exchange bureau. He was trying to get some cash to pay for his train ticket. There was some hitch and he was left empty handed. I recognized the fellow from my flight and decided to ask what the problem was. He explained that he was a French student who had been studying in the U.S. and was returning home to Paris. He had somehow run out of money and could not get home. Impulsively I loaned him train fare. He promised his parents would repay me. I calculated that maybe I would not be repaid but that I preferred the generous me to the suspicious me and went ahead anyway.
When we arrived in Paris his parents not only repaid me but kind of adopted me. I had gone to Paris a few days before my boarding house was available on the grounds that my French boyfriend would help me find a place to stay. Said boyfriend promptly dumped me and I would have been in a bit of a spot but for my generous moment which earned me some lovely French friends, a tour guide to Paris and free lodgings for nearly two weeks. All for a loan of $20.
I made another French friend, an elderly woman, simply because I gave her my seat on the bus. She thanked me kindly, asked me where I was from, announced to me “I love Americans!” and invited me to dinner sometime. What an experience in a city known for its hostility to Americans. Of course, it didn’t hurt that I am fluent in French.
There are stranger kinds of “kindness.” For example, the person who stole my suitcase but taped my address to my house keys and dropped them in a mail box. Amazingly, the post office delivered them without any postage! Why would a thief return the keys? Guilt? As an odd repayment for the contents of the luggage? Couldn’t they have returned my son’s baby blankets too?
For a scientific analysis of the Kindness of Strangers click here. It is an interesting study.

Signing off

Rob's Foods

I love urban signs. I post some on my blog as you know and have more on my Flickr site. To me the hand-painted ones have so much character, especially when something goes worng, oops, I mean wrong. I was editing this photo of a roadside sign when I realized the painter had inverted the letters on the word "small." Too funny! Now I need to go back when there are fewer shadows and take a better shot. In Chicago, we may lack for wildlife, mountains and wilderness in general but the urban delights sometimes make up for it.

P.S. I really need to work on the margins on my blog. It cuts off the edges of all my landscape-oriented photos. Why try to take a nice shot only to have it maimed on the web? So much to do, so little time. Happy Wednesday!

Wordless Wednesday--Alicia's Limos

Alicia's Limos

Monday, October 22, 2007

Now for something completely different

Adult Party Scene

This December I will be one of the adults on stage. I volunteered to dance an adult role in the local ballet school's production of the Nutcracker. I'm posting now because rehearsals have already started. I have essentially no dance experience but none is needed. I almost decided not to go ahead but then decided you only live once and in my case living once is half over. We'll have to see if I still have stage fright. I get to wear a Victorian costume and dance shoes and hang out with my son on stage. I'll post pictures if I can get someone to take some for me. My one regret is I won't get to be sitting in the front row taking photos this year. But I do get a back stage pass.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Kill all the Lawyers

Elmo's Tombstones

Was that Shakespeare? Oh, who cares.
I'm trying to tell this story without violating confidential information. Suffice to say that being a doctor is like being a celebrity without the adulation or salary. Someone thinks your testimony on something would help them get what they want in life? So they send you a subpoena. All they have to do is pay some lawyer big bucks and they can command your appearance in a court of law, even though you are being accused of nothing. Never mind that you don't want to abandon your current patients-in-need to gratify their every whim and appear in court to testify on their behalf. Never mind that they don't have to pay you for your time. If you don't show, you're in contempt of court. If you don't like it you can hire your own lawyer and pay him/her $200 or more per hour just for the privilege of them telling you you still have to go to court. And unlike your professional services, the services of an attorney for me to CYA are not covered by insurance. And they charge more per hour than you do and get to bill for phone time (which you don't), even though you went to more school than they did.
Plus they violate your privacy by sending a private detective to your house on a Sunday where they "serve" the subpoena to you in front of your kids. The guy could have come to my office during regular business hours, after all they know where I work, but no, they need to do the humiliation thing of catching you in your grubby clothes when you are expecting a play date of your son's to arrive. I hope that private detective is charging his client a bloody fortune.
Of course, they don't teach you how to handle this in medical school or thereafter. In medical school the hospital has its own private staff of high-priced lawyers in case you need advice. But now you learn the hard way that the law is the special province of lawyers. The rules are so confusing that you must hire an attorney to explain to you why they have the right to force you to testify. Or you can do it on your own, but woe betide you if you screw up!
Woe betide you, is that Shakespeare too? I could look it up but I have to call my lawyer now.

Sunday Scribblings--Queen of the World

Statue of Liberty

If I were Queen of the world. . . well, my first act would be to abdicate. I truly believe that I wouldn’t run things better than even, say, George W. Bush. That being said, I still feel superior every time the man opens his mouth. I lack patience, tact, wisdom, foresight, and interest in important things like politics and economics. But if someone left me the queenship in his or her will, and I had to accept, what would I try to change?
I’d try to improve on the health care mess we’re in. Not just locally but globally. Something more has to be done to treat the curable illnesses and reign in the uncurable but treatable, like AIDs and malaria.
I’d treat global warming as a number one priority. Big incentives on small, gas-saving cars and on the use of public transportation. Big taxes on Hummers and their like. More solar energy everywhere. Let the government lead by creating less waste and being more energy efficient. I walk into my local grocery store, a coop where they should know better and ask for paper from the bagger. They uniformly think this means paper and plastic since the only other choice that makes sense to them is plastic only. When I say no, just the paper, they look at me like I’m some strange sort of eccentric.
I’d mandate more vacation for Americans and better family benefits. Then I’d try to gently teach Europeans that having stores and tourist sites open on Sundays would benefit the economy and decrease unemployment. Besides I always feel that Sundays lose me precious tourist hours when I travel.
If I’m going to be grandiose, I’d pass a law banning religious intolerance. Of course, it wouldn’t work, but it sounds good on paper, right? In the U.S. this would mean a serious attention to separation of church and state issues. But I wouldn’t try to dictate this to other countries.
I would really value public education for everyone. I’d try to equalize the access to a quality education across all socio-economic groups. And I would mean it, not just require more high stakes testing.
I’d push for gun control, parity for mental illness and universal health care for children. I know I would make enemies and I would probably run the global economy into the ground but I didn’t ask for the job. It was forced on me, wasn’t it?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Hot, hot, hot

Jalapeno peppers

Submitted to Macroday--Hot. Actually, I missed the deadline but it would have been submitted to Macroday. If you can't stand the heat get out of the fire, or something like that, I guess.

The Hot Seat

Cat Warmer

Click on the photo to view large--the blog cuts off part of her head but it's all there in the picture.

A very practical cat warmer. A way to warm practically the whole cat. Also how the cats welcome autumn in our house.
For Saturday Photo Hunt--Practical.

See It Sunday--Sky

A Pumpkin Smile

The sky grins like a pumpkin but secretly is planning a major storm.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Old Ford Truck

Old truck seen in Stehekin, Washington.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Photo Sharks--Industrial


Last year's photo. It hasn't snowed here (yet). I've heard the almanac says snow will hit early this year. I hope it's as inaccurate as the weatherman.

Wordless Wednesday--Mural at Night

Behind Bars

In Hyde Park, Chicago, IL

Sunday, October 14, 2007

See It Sunday--Construction


View large for more detail.
OK so this is destruction but not construction but it will be construction some day. I'm fascinated by watching this building go down. It is a slow process--no wrecking ball or dynamite. It is like watching layers of a building peeled away one by one. It has a voyeuristic element, like watching one of those reality TV shows. Oh look, I can see the bathroom there. And so forth. I see this building rather frequently so there may be more posts as it comes down.

Sunday Scribblings--Jobs, Jobs and More Jobs

Children's Memorial Hospital

Hi, I missed scribbling last Sunday. This Sunday’s prompt is about jobs: first, worst and dream. Please, don’t get me going. OK, do.
I’d have to say that I had two “first” jobs—the kind that happen before the “real” job. I made my first money by babysitting. This was back in the day when I felt rich if I made $2 an hour. Of course, I remember when gas was $0.28/gallon also. Ah, the price wars back then!
I babysat a lot. I have a brother 12 years younger than myself and he was my first victim. I learned first hand how to care for infants. This made me popular in the neighborhood and I soon had a few steady gigs. I took care of the neighbor’s 4 children, sometimes for days at a time while the parents vacationed. They didn’t pay well and their house was total chaos. For clothes, there were two piles, clean and dirty. I just moved the clothes from one pile to the other at the end of the day. The house was constantly under construction and was cluttered beyond belief. One daughter only ate cereal and white bread. We figured without all the fortifications in both, she would have been malnourished. I had a major triumph on day when I discovered that everyone in the family liked corn-on-the-cob including the cats.
Generally babysitting went well. I met some hippie-types in Seattle who kept their heat down so low I had to wear my coat in the house. There was an awkward moment when their little son asked me to read him one of those sex-ed books for little kids. I wasn’t quite ready to share the birds and bees at that time in my own life.
I babysat for my cousins which was great fun. I’d stay overnight and the next morning would get to share the Sunday paper and breakfast with my aunts and uncles. I got hooked on the Sunday crossword puzzle that way. For a time I was pretty good at it too. I think my favorite thing about babysitting, besides the money, was getting to eat all the boxed cereals I wasn’t allowed to have at home. Fruit Loops were my favorite. Lucky Stars came in second.
My other job was gift wrapping. During the Christmas rush, I would help at the jewelry store where my mother worked by wrapping boxes. Fortunately jewelry boxes are nice and square and easy to wrap. At times they would be sent back for rewrapping because I wasn’t tidy enough. If you buy someone an expensive piece of jewelry you have the right to a good wrap job.
My worst job was what drove me into working for myself. Actually there was another worst job two jobs before that too. This stuff gets too messy to put in a public forum. Suffice to say that one job was too much like living in a dysfunctional family and did not give me enough room for professional growth. The hours were awful and I was burning out, fast. The prior worst job ended due to extreme workplace politics and a “whistle-blower” situation I unwittingly got into. Sometimes having ethics and a conscience can be a liability in the workplace. I’m happier working for myself although sometimes I miss the intellectual environment and friendships I made in the academic environment. I miss my old dream of doing research too.
I think my dream job doesn’t exist. I wouldn’t even know where to look for it. I will tell you one other dream I have. It is to go on a sabbatical. I vary between locations: England, France, or New Zealand. Sometimes I go to write a book. Sometimes to learn a new skill or see how medicine works in another country. I think this dream can happen. It is a matter of timing. When you share your life with three other people, timing is critical. There are still a “few” more years left before retirement so I’m not giving up on this dream.
I’m looking forward to hearing about your jobs too. I’m sure some of them put mine to shame.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Sending a Flower Your Way

Sending you a flower

From my garden.

Saturday, October 06, 2007


Scanned images

A year ago today, I posted about whether blogging makes one a better writer. I'm still not sure although I am surprised to see me still posting. It has helped me get over some of my essential shyness about my writing although I am still inhibited about trying to publish. The one commenter on that old post--I was still a rather lonely blogger--said to write for myself and to record my life. The message she sent to me was essentially, "chill," something I say to my kids all the time. So I chilled and here I am still posting.
In a way this post is not about writing, however. A long time ago, I admitted in this public/private forum that I have a wish to be a writer. I still don't tell this to many people I know "in the flesh." I think I keep it private because it seems so trite; doesn't everyone have this dream to one degree or another? I wrote my first short story at the ripe old age of 5. It was about a nosy vitamin and had illustrations. I think, like many people, I fear that I lack the talent, perseverance and stamina to actually produce a literary work worth reading.
This post is actually, now that I get to it, about art. I am not a wannabee artist. I love art but if I ever had any dreams of making art in a serious way, they probably died when I skipped kindergarten, the year one learns how to cut and color. I was good at math and science and learned very young that one couldn't be both left and right brained at the same time. Or so I was taught. I also had an absolute need in the deepest psychological sense to find a career that would earn me a stable living. I suppose my mother's drift from one dead-end sales job to unemployment and back again influenced me in that department.
There wasn't much art in my life through high school, college (I was pre-med after all), medical and graduate school, internship, residency, fellowship and early career doctor and parent. On many days I was too burnt out to read a novel much less do anything personally creative. I managed to sneak in one or two right brained efforts over the years--a major in French literature, study abroad, a dance class or two and a brief spell of piano lessons. I also learned that I have my own personal kind of learning disability, an inability to "see" things well in three dimensions. Especially if you have to mentally rotate them. Gross anatomy was a struggle and the world should be grateful I'm not a neurosurgeon. I also discovered that I do not see binocularly through a microscope. This never hindered me much but I was quite surprised when I learned that other people used both eyes.
I'm not a wannabee artist. I want to play with art. I am a sucker for books that purport to make one more creative. The first one I ever bought was probably "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain." Sadly, I never did. And I still cannot draw. I'm not being modest either. Fortunately for me, or unfortunately if you count the cost, in the craft-happy 21st century there are no end of books to indulge my habit. Books about knitting, crochet, sewing, and lately the paper arts. Great colorful books to drool over, look at the pictures, pornography of the artistically incompetent or (as the books would say) artistically undiscovered.
All of a sudden the kids are older and more independent. The career is largely under control. Amazingly I have a little bit of free time. I read more, write more, take photos and the occasional art class. The last class I took was this summer. It was a five week course entitled "Altered Books" but the material veered all over the map of making things with and out of paper. Five sessions to learn how to tear, fold, paint and glue paper! Alas, the teacher has moved to another state, summer is over and I haven't found another class that suits my needs, schedule and, more importantly, my kids' schedules. So it's back to the books.
The latest is entitled "Kaleidoscope" and, of course, is intended to "Spark Your Creativity." What is amazing is that I actually did one of the projects. It is entitled "Mail Art to the Self." Maybe the postcard with the words "No child left behind" caught my eye. After all that law is one of my pet peeves. Or maybe the mail part was appealing. Whatever. I did a project from start to finish and have begun the follow up project. I had great fun too!
This post is getting long so I will end as I have begun, with a scanned photo of the results. Please don't laugh at my efforts. I noticed that some of the background shows through more on the scans so I altered things a little further since scanning.

More scanned images

Friday, October 05, 2007

Giant Caterpillar


One weird caterpillar

I posted one of these pics already but I am putting them up again because I finally got an identification and wanted to share a really great link with you. This fellow raised some of these caterpillars from eggs and documented the life cycle. The caterpillar is the larva of a Giant Silk Moth. I don't think I've ever seen one of these moths in the wild but the caterpillar sure caught my eye. I love how nature can be beautiful and grotesque all at the same time.


Antique gauge

Seen in an antique shop in Wisconsin.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Foxes and Ivy


Anyone want to tell me what these are and what they are up to? My best guess was they are foxes. Could be something mythological. They do make me think of a fable, say Aesop or Jean de la Fontaine. Not that I have a particular one in mind. Maybe I should write my own.

I hope to get out and take some photos today. The weather if perfect for it. One of those ultra-blue autumnal skies. If all goes well this should inspire some good posting. Enjoy your Thursday.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

500 +

Four Fives

Yesterday's was my five-hundredth post. I had no idea I was so verbose. Then again, maybe I did.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Not too inspired. . .

so I thought I'd tell you that I just completed my first Kakuro puzzle. Boy, if I needed to practice my rapid mental addition skills, they sure got a work out. Hope it keeps the Alzheimer's at bay.


I guess I took a couple of pictures this weekend. Here is one. Anyone care to remind me who Galton is? From the entry to a University of Chicago building.