Friday, August 08, 2014

Parkville on a Summer Evening

I am including a few pictures from a recent trip to Parkville, which is south of where I live, and located along the Missouri River. It's primarily known as the location for a private university and a scenic park along the river; otherwise, the town features expensive restaurants, pricey grocery stores, and expensive houses. It reminds me of a town located outside of Hartford, Connecticut--Glastonbury, for example. Some homes in Parkville can be purchased for $100,000, which seems to be the low end; there are many more homes listed for four or five times that amount, with one currently priced at the upper end and going for $1,500,000. Oddly, this highest priced home is located near a major highway. I would prefer more seclusion if I had that kind of money to spend on a house.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Content With the Old and the Worn

When is it necessary to replace something that works fine but that may appear tarnished or worn?

Although I have other watches, I purchased my favorite watch, the one I wear most often, fifteen years ago from a local big-box store. I don’t remember what I paid at the time. It was probably something like $20 or $30. Oddly a few years later, when I took my watch back to this store to have the battery replaced, the clerk at the jewelry counter said that the store doesn’t sell and never sold this item. Although a few other watches made by Wilson, the sports company, are available at eBay, I haven’t ever seen the model that I purchased in 1999 listed on eBay

My sweat from mowing the yard during a number of summers caused this watch to lose much of its finish on one side, so a couple of years ago I took a nail file and rubbed all of the finish off that side. It may not look aesthetically pleasing. Even so, this watch keeps great time and is currently in sync, to the second, with the online clock available at this link. A few years ago, I purchased the mechanism that would allow me to unscrew the back so that I could change the watch battery myself. The current battery has not needed replaced for more than a year now.

My wife worries that the metal exposed below the stainless steel finish may be harmful. We tried to have the metal identified at a jewelry store, but the clerk erroneously thought that the watch only recently has acquired a silver finish from wear.

Despite my wife’s suggestions that I replace my watch, I have opted to hang onto it. There are other watches, and more stylish ones, that may supply the correct time. I could even dig out one of my other watches, but there is no reason to get something else. My watch works fine despite its appearance.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Grief and Music

During a moment of dementia, sometime before his death, my father gave his stereo system and his collection of vinyl records to a relative, leaving my mother without any music. It was something she lamented in my phone calls to her. As a result, I purchased a portable stereo capable of playing CDs from Amazon and had it shipped to her in Northern Ireland. My mother specifically asked for the music of Johnny Mathias. I also added Dave Brubeck’s Time Out; it was the one of the albums that my parents particularly enjoyed when I was younger. Probably, I should have added an album by Stephane Grappelli. One of his albums, perhaps Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagan, Denmark, was something that my mother excitedly wanted to me to hear when I was visiting one year.

One year around Christmas, when I was putting together a package containing such things as cans of pumpkin and boxes of corn bread, two things my mother couldn’t purchase in Northern Ireland, and books by James Patterson, one of her favorite authors, I added two more CDs, Matthew Halsall’s Colour Yes and Nat Birchall’s Akhenaten, two representative CDs of contemporary British jazz. My mother, however, never mentioned playing this music although she did receive the package and thanked me for the pumpkin and cornbread.

Even so, after my mother died in May of this year, at the age of 87, the music I have turned to repeatedly has been Matthew Halsall’s Colour Yes, particularly the tracks “Together” and “I’ve Been Here Before.” These tracks exemplify the sense of grief that I felt and continue to feel.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Partly Cloudy Day Along the River

These pictures result from an occasion in which I managed to get away from my online classes for a little while. Photography for me is a combination of light and dark and the capturing of these contrasts in combination with various shapes. I learned to take pictures using black and white and that training shows in my pictures.