And another week bites the dust...

On my drive home from work I had one of those moments that drive home the need to have the camera in reach and ready to shoot...I didn't and I wasn't, so I missed what was probably a once in a lifetime shot. As I was drive toward home of an evening I sometimes pass a skydiving establishment in Rosharon, Skydive Spaceland. Yesterday as I came upon the facility there was a group just in their final approach to landing. They were coming in fairly well spaced out so that they were landing a couple of minutes apart from each other as I drove into town.

Every time I see this sight I wish I was prepared to catch some shots but so far I always approach as they are already landing. As I sat in the turning lane waiting for the light to change I looked up and was immediately returned to Fred First's photo of the other day of the Vulture crossing the moon. Instead of a vulture, picture a man hanging below a bright red parasail passing back and forth in front of the moon. Needless to say, my camera was in it's bag on the floor board behind my seat just out of reach and the light was about to change. Oh well...

I see Tom Philpott has a new article over on Grist. Everyone who has an interest in food should take a look at it...

Two years ago, dairy giant Dean Foods shuttered a milk-processing facility in Wilkesboro, a town at the eastern edge of North Carolina's Appalachian Mountains.

...Since there were no other USDA-approved processing plants around, the few remaining dairy farmers in the mountains faced a stark choice: pay to have their milk hauled an additional 55 miles to Winston-Salem, where Dean ran another plant, or exit the business.

In the tiny mountain town of Bethel, N.C. -- 45 miles west of Wilkesboro -- one such farmer took the second option, closing a 50-cow operation he had started in 1959. When he started his farm, Bethel had around a dozen dairy farms. Today it has none.
When I think of consolidation in the food industry -- fewer and fewer companies controlling more and more production -- I think of that small farm in Bethel.

The start of this article has a special meaning for me as I will never forget the day I wandered into Bethel for the fist time. the view of the valley as I wandered down from the mountains just screamed farms. It was such a striking scene I kept driving around for quite sometime. So striking in fact that I totally forgot I was carrying a camera and was out looking for photographs...go figure!

Source: How food processing got into the hands of a few giant companies | By Tom Philpott | Grist | Victual Reality | 26 Apr 2007

Coffee's hot and there are 20 emails to read before I leave for work, so...

Ok, now I thought the Blue Ridge Mountains would still be enjoying a cool start to spring right about now. Instead they seem to have moved into what should be an early June weather pattern, or am I wrong. When a day on the Blue Ridge in late April starts out at the same temperature as the Texas Gulf Coast, well people, we have a problem. Not that I am complaining about the coolness of the morning as I sit with the door open listening to the birdsong as I sip coffee, read the morning emails and type these meandering muses. But, what will this mean for my trip in late July. I look forward to the cool mornings and the coffee out on the porch watching the valley fog below rise up and burn off. I don't want to think it could be just as warm as Texas...

Ballot barriers - Houston Chronicle

It looks like the Republicans feel the need to try to redden even this red state further. Could it be they really don't think they can win an election without stamping on the voter's rights? This is the same tactic that is getting them in so much trouble around the country.

In Texas, the biggest problem facing our electoral system is the voters' shamefully low participation in choosing our representatives and leaders. Yet instead of encouraging more people to exercise this fundamental right, some lawmakers in Austin are hard at work trying to make it more difficult to vote.

With no proof of significant voter fraud in state elections, the Texas House is considering bills that would require voters to provide additional identification in order to register and cast their ballots. Not only is the legislation unjustified, if enacted it could disenfranchise large numbers of the elderly, the poor and minorities.

Republicans have promoted voter identification legislation as a cure for ballot fraud, though documented voter impersonation cases are rare. Democrats contend the measures are really aimed at suppressing Election Day turnout among their traditional support groups.

Source: Ballot barriers: Legislation requiring Texas voters to present extensive identification would create far more problems than it would solve. | - Houston Chronicle

Where has the month gone?

Here we are rapidly closing in on the end of April. Seems like it was just March the other day. The weather system that blew through here yesterday morning dropped the temperature if not the humidity. This morning is dawning a cool 57 degrees with a low fog out the (open) back door. I pulled a Fred first thing this morning (did I trigger your Google alert Fred?) wandering out in the dew covered backyard to see what kind of images I could capture early before the sun came up. It's always nice when we have a Blue Ridge morning in Texas.

Here is the best of the handful of images I pulled backyard just before sunrise this morning.

The first cup is poured and I see I have mail, so...

Horoscope for the week
I really like Ron's take on Astrology and find this weeks horoscope ties in with where my head is (how 70's is that)...
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): According to the macrobiotic approach to diet, the healthiest food for you to eat is that which has been grown near you, or at least in the same latitude. Unless you live in the tropics, for instance, bananas shouldn't be on your menu. Let's make that meme your Metaphor of the Week, Aquarius. According to my interpretation of the omens, all your best bets will be local and homegrown. You should pluck pleasures that are close by, and avoid temptations beckoning from a distance. You should trust clues that arrive from sources you can personally verify, and be skeptical of those from friends of friends of friends.
I really liked "the healthiest food for you to eat is that which has been grown near you". Seems like I keep saying pretty much the same thing...
Source: Rob Brezsny's Astrology Newsletter

The news from Washington is all the same, so I won't bother to go there. Just imagine where we would be today had we not tried this experiment in Judicially appointed Presidents. I am sure that just scares the hell out of the right, "Nightmare on Pennsylvania Avenue". Come to think of it, that's just what it's been, six years of waking nightmares.

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