Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Hello Ashland

Well I should tell you right of the bat that this post is me going to include much writing about how I don't have anything to write about. I'm hoping that both of the people (actually I'm pretty sure the reader count is up to three now – thanks Ann) will find this entertainingly ironic and that this will make up for the fact that I haven't posted anything in well over a month.

I've been thinking that I should be posting more often in this blog. I'm even feeling a little guilty – even though I'm not Catholic. And I've been thinking also that I need to get out with my camera and take some pictures.

The last couple of days here have been really hot (remember I'm in northern Wisconsin and that “really hot” means “in the 90's”. If I was in Georgia then “really hot” mean something else entirely. Kinda makes you wonder how tough northerners really are when they have to turn on the AC when then temp. gets over 80. Or maybe northerners need to redefine “tough” as something besides “doing stupid shit on a four-wheeler.”) and today the wind switched from the south to the north which means the air was passing over the lake before passing over land. The lake was cooling the air down and also moistening it and the end result was some fog blowing inland. I was riding my bike along the lakeshore and thought that it would be cool to take a picture and put it on the blog. Of course I didn't have my camera with me (I had taken the camera out of my bike bag because it was sitting inside of a hot car and I forgot to put it back in.

You know, it's not really true about me not having anything to write about. A lot has happened. Perhaps what I should have said was that I would be writing about how I have been slacking on getting out and taking pictures.

I have ridden my bike some...but not really all that much. I'm saving enthusiasm up for winter. I love to ride in winter...I'm weird that way. Still my bike is my primary mode of transport. I ride my bike for almost every trip in town and use it the vast majority of the trips I make out of town that are reasonable (how I define “reasonable” varies with weather, energy levels, time, etc. Most of the time I ride my bike out to my girlfriend's place, about 10 miles up the road. If that seems like a long way it may help to remember that I actually enjoy riding in the winter. I'm weird.... And the less gas I [and people in general] burn the better)

I've been camping some. On the Turtle-Flambeau Flowage; on the Namekegon River (both times were canoe-camping).

But the main reason I haven't posted much is the girlfriend I mentioned a couple of paragraphs ago. She has a place out in the country (I love being out of town) that's mostly wooded (I love the woods). She has a son who is about a year younger than my nephews. She is into alternative stuff (she voluntarily lived for years in a one room straw bale hut that was 12 x 20 and had no running water or electricity – it usually happens that I can trump most people when I tell about living in a 20 x 20 log cabin with no running water...but not her - mine was bigger, had more than one room, and had electricity). So anyway, the main reason I haven't been blogging is because of her. It's her fault.

It's been – insert some sort of superlative here – between Jenny and I

Well I suppose that not having big expensive lenses that can make things look close is an advantage in some ways. Since I only have one lens for my camera I almost never change it (only when I happen to borrow a lens from someone) and thus save money by not having to clean dust off of my image sensor and it also saves me from having to try and decide what lens to use in each particular circumstance. And in some ways it's actually let me experience more: I don't even bother trying to take a picture of the duck flying overhead (it would probably look like a dust speck on my image sensor anyway) and just watch and enjoy. But this picture is NOT an example of how a short lens is OK...this picture really isn't very good. I just like the idea that there is a rocky shore with cliffs so close to Ashland that you can see them with a regular old lens.

When I was in college I remember my friends and I making fun of the needless use of quotation marks in words that mean exactly what they are supposed to mean. I think of quotation marks are put in there to to let people know that you have just “coined” a word (or used a common word in an uncommon way but you can still be pretty sure that people will get your meaning even if they haven't heard the exact phrase before). As in: I'm excited = I'm feeling “caffeinated.” The best one my college buddies and I came up with was a sign on a bar that said Best Food “Anywhere.” But I think that this one tops them all. I found it in the basement laundry area in the apartment complex I'm living in.

The shore (of Lake Superior) in Ashland, while not being used heavily at this point, is littered with boards that I assume are from old docks that stuck out into the lake. I suppose it could be considered historical for them to be there – and I suppose it is, there are lots of pilings from old docks and stuff sticking out into the lake. But it seems to me that it would be quite a bit more “historical” (insert chuckle here after reading the last caption) to actually restore the lakeshore to how it looked 500 years ago instead of 100. Plus I think that it's kinda like littering to leave your messes around (and I consider old pilings a mess). Anyway, I'll get off my high horse long enough to say what you have probably already figured out by now: this is a chunk of an old board that washed up on the shore.

However, even though I wouldn't be sad to see the old dock/pier (is there a difference?) go, that doesn't stop me from being able to see that they still have some cool stuff in them. This is a piling made from a pine trunk and the white things you see radiating out from the center are knots from branches.