2017

Story Sunday: Circus Train Cars For Auction In North Carolina

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Barnum & Bailey Circus Rail Car Image One
Image Credit: NC State Surplus Property

If you haven’t finished your holiday shopping, the North Carolina Department of Transportation is offering up a piece of Americana but, it’s going to cost you a pretty penny.

When the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus closed their doors, NCDOT saw an opportunity to add to its fleet. That plan was derailed before the cars could hit the rails and, now, they’re being put up for public auction.

NCDOT spent just over $380,000 on [the] Ringling Brothers rail cars.

“These cars have a great and amazing history,” said Jason Orthner, director of the NCDOT rail division.

However, plans to refurbish the cars were quickly put on hold when NCDOT calculated the costs. “This was more on the long-term play of really looking into our rail program and how we take it into the future,” said Orthner.

Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Poster Wiki Image Two
Image Credit: New York Public Library
Wikimedia & Wikipedia

Funding from two federal grants totaling $157 million rendered the rehab of the Ringling Bros. cars obsolete and will soon allow the NCDOT to replace their entire fleet.

“If we hadn’t been successful at winning those grants, we would’ve taken a really hard look at putting these in service,” said Orthner. “We really want to do the best thing for the citizens of North Carolina with the limited funding that we have available.”

That’s why they’re listing the rail-cars on the state surplus site for a minimum price that’s $32,000 more than the NCDOT paid for all of the cars but, without any bids, it’s unclear if anyone will actually buy them.

“Tourist railroad operations, car collectors and other enthusiasts would certainly be interested in these cars,” said Orthner. “There are operations around the country that run train service for excursion purpose, or other purposes, that would be interested in equipment like this.”

Currently half of the rail-cars are stored in the NCDOT rail-yard in Raleigh and the other half are stored on an abandoned line in Nash County.

Want To Own A Piece Of History?
Holden Kurwicki
WNCN/CBS17
12-21-2020

I had no idea my state’s DOT had purchased Ringling Bros. train cars. ~Vic

Weird S*** Wednesday: Cyborg Has Fins Implanted Into Skull

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Manel De Aguas Oddity Central Image
Photo Credit: Oddity Central

From Oddity Central:

Spanish artist Manel de Aguas doesn’t consider himself human but, something else. A founding member of the Trans-Species Society (a now defunct website), he uses technological implants to experience the world differently than the rest of humanity. Twenty-four-year-old Manel […] first made international news headlines in August of 2017 when he built the first prototype of a device that allowed him to feel atmospheric vibrations. At the time, it was nothing more than an exposed circuit board that hung on a headband at the back of his head. The following year, he started attaching a pair of fins to the sides of his head and announced his intention to have them implanted into his skull. Earlier this year, de Aguas did just that, turning those decorative fins into functional organs that perceive the temperature, humidity and atmospheric pressure and, send sounds to Manel’s brain via bone conduction.

Manel De Aguas Facebook Image
Photo Credit: Manel De Aguas
01-11-2020

In June of 2019, the […] artist sat down with VICE Magazine and explained his intention to have [the] artificial [organs] […] implanted:

“The atmosphere will sound inside my head, and depending on the atmospheric conditions in any given moment, I will have the experience of being submerged in one type of medium or another. As for the outer part, the organ will have an appearance inspired by the fins of flying fish and I will implant a fin on each side of my head, at the same level as the temple bone in my skull.”

“I have always felt a special connection to the rain, so when I found out that there was a way to feel this sense within me, I thought it would be good to create [an organ] that would connect me even more to rain, as well as other atmospheric phenomena. As for the shape of the organ, I have always been interested in marine species, both real and mythological, so the idea of creating a fin-shaped organ simply came from within.”

“I will be exploring the weather through this new sensory organ,” […] de Aguas posted on Instagram, where his new look has been getting a lot of attention.

Manel described himself as a propioespecie, or his own species, his response to the anthropocentrism of today’s society, which puts human beings on the highest echelon of a false hierarchy of species. In January of this year, [he] was finally able to make his dream a reality. He had the artificial fins implanted into his skull at a clinic in Japan, after being refused by several doctors in Spain. The fins weigh 500 grams, can be recharged with solar energy and can connect to various devices via WiFi.

I wonder if those wings let him Phone Home. ~Vic

Additional Reading:
Cyborg Foundation
Manel de Aguas (Facebook)
Manel de Aguas (Instagram)
Color Blind Artist Implants Antenna (Oddity Central 2014)
Moon Ribas Can Sense Every Earthquake (Oddity Central 2016)
Cyborg Artist Can Sense The Weather (Vice Magazine 2019)
Neil Harbisson (Wikipedia)
Moon Ribas (Wikipedia)

Shutterbug Saturday: Old Fort Sumner Museum

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I lived in Texas for nearly a decade. My ex-Marine and I did some traveling through the west when we had opportunities. I’ve been digging around in some old stuff and found some photos from a visit to the Old Fort Sumner Museum in New Mexico in December of 2008. We were on our way to Liar’s Lodge. The museum closed in 2017. ~Vic

Old Fort Sumner Museum Image One
A terrible shot of the front of the museum.
It was so overcast.
It never occurred to me to take pictures inside.
Historic Marker Image Two
Official Marker
Lucien Maxwell
Fort Sumner
Bosque Redondo
Elusive Tombstone Image Three
They kept stealing it.
Joe Bowlin
Notice the reference to Texas International Airlines
Jarvis P. Garrett is Pat’s son.
UPI Article on the 1981 Recovery
Stone Marker Image Four
Group death record.
Charlie Bowdre December 23, 1880
Tom O’Folliard December 19, 1880
Billy's Tombstone Image Five
Henry McCarty
AKA William H. Bonney
AKA Billy The Kid
July 14, 1881
“The boy bandit king,
he died as he lived.”

Late Add:

Fort Sumner Cemetery Panorama Image Six
Fort Sumner Cemetery
Photo Credit: Erans World
02-11-2014
Click to view full picture.

Additional Reading:
BTKOG (Billy the Kid Outlaw Gang Site)
Whiskey and the Devil: Taiban, New Mexico (City of Dust Blogspot January 10, 2012)
Billy the Kid’s Two Graves (Roadside America August 15, 2020)
Caught With His Pants Down: Billy the Kid vs Pat Garrett (True West Magazine August 1, 2010)
Brushy Bill Roberts (Wikipedia)

Weird S*** Wednesday: Man in Joker Makeup Charged After Waving Knife

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Joker Group Image One
Image Credit: Allure Magazine

A 25-year-old man clad in “Joker” makeup “menacingly waved” a pocketknife at several teenagers as he drove past them Tuesday in Haddon Township, authorities said. Assoumou Diby was stopped a short time [after] cruising past the group on the 400 block of West Crystal Lake Avenue on Tuesday, the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office and Haddon Township police said in a statement Wednesday.

It’s blurry but, here’s a visual…a man in joker makeup arrested by Haddon Twp, NJ, police after allegedly waving a pocketknife at children. The arrest followed days of sightings, scares and calls to police, who say, until last night, the behavior wasn’t criminal. @FOX29philly

-jennifer joyce (@JenniJoyceTV) June 24, 2020

Man In Joker Makeup Image Two
Photo Credit: Nicholas Matyas via Jennifer Joyce

Diby, of Haddon Township, was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon following his arrest. Earlier in the week, police said they received multiple reports from people who saw a man in Joker makeup walking around town, noting it’s not a crime [to] simply do that.

Diby is due to make a first appearance in municipal court July 16.

Jeff Goldman
nj.com True Jersey
June 25, 2020

Romero & Nicholson Jokers Image Four
Photo Credit: Collider

This isn’t the first time this has happened:
Man Dressed as the Joker Arrested in Winchester, VA (The Washington Post, March 25, 2017)

Life imitates art and the bail bondsman gets rich. ~Vic

Flower Moon 2020

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I did a pretty extensive write-up last year with Native American names and two videos. I won’t repeat all that here. I am including a shot from 2017 (before I was blogging again) and a shot from 2019 that wasn’t part of the previous post.

Full illumination occurred at 6:45am EDT. Howl for me! ~Vic

Flower Moon Image One
From this evening…
Flower Moon Image Two
Peek-a-Boo
Flower Moon Image Three
I caught the Moon with the setting sun.
It’s a little hard to see.
05-17-2019
Flower Moon Image Four
More Peek-a-Boo
05-11-2017

Pink Moon 2020

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Pink Moon Farmers Almanac 1818 Image One
Image Credit: farmersalmanac.com

Our full moon this month is a Super Moon, as was last month‘s…which I totally missed. I did a Pink Moon post last year with all the different names so, I won’t repeat them here.

Perigee Apogee Old Farmer's Almanac Image Two
Image Credit: almanac.com

I also didn’t have any immediate shots because of the weather and wound up posting some older pictures. Earlier, I thought the weather wasn’t going to cooperate tonight, either and I shared some older pix, below. But, it rose beautifully, without much cloud interference. It is a bit hazy, tho. I saved it for last. All photos are my personal collection ©, unless otherwise stated.

Full illumination occurs at 10:35pm EDT. Howl for me! ~Vic

Pink Moon 2017 Image Three
Spooky
04-10-2017
Pink Moon 2018 Image Four
Peek-a-boo!
04-28-2018
Pink Moon 2019 Image Five
Waxing Gibbous four days earlier.
Not sure why I didn’t post this last year.
04-15-2019
Pink Moon 2020 Image Six
Last night’s walk.
Moon over the Library.
04-06-2020
Pink Moon 2020 Image Seven
Got this standing in the middle of the street.
The tree is holding on.
04-07-2020

References:
Full Moons (Moon Giant)
Full Moon Dates & Times (Farmers’ Almanac 1818)
Full Moon Names (The Old Farmer’s Almanac 1792)
Pink Moon (Time and Date)

Snapshots Sunday: The Woo

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Shutterbug Saturday was a bust. I spent most of the day battling a computer (not the laptop, again). I still continue to curse Microsoft. I did manage a bit of a respite. Last night was our monthly Seabee gathering. It was a wonderful turnout and we had a great meal. If you are ever in the area of Roxboro and/or Person County, you should visit Homestead Steakhouse.

Anyway, ever seen a Woo? Curious critters, they are. All pictures are my personal collection. © ~Vic

The Woo Image One
It sits in our kitchen.
10-20-2017
The Woo Image Two
Got a snake tail.
The Woo Image Three
Their origin.

Shutterbug Saturday: Halloween Local 2.0

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More local images. Halloween Local 1.0 was last year. Take a look at Old Halloween Stuff. All pictures are my personal collection. ~Vic

Squirrel Image One
I *think* this is a stuffed squirrel.
11-03-2015
Hamilton Burr Image Two
Hamilton vs Burr
10-23-2016
Skeleton Image Three
Another angle of the crazy skeleton from last year’s post.
11-05-2017
Spider & Bat Image Four
I love the bat.
11-05-2017
Ghost Image Five
“I’m coming to take you away, ha-ha!”
10-28-2018
Skeleton & Ghost Image Six
This bat isn’t as well fed as the last one.
10-28-2018
Snake Skeleton Image Seven
The snake skeleton is pretty creepy.
10-28-2018
Frankenstein Jack Image Eight
It’s Frankenstein Jack!
10-28-2018
Eek Image Nine
Spider in the bushes and EEK on the mailbox.
10-28-2018
Big Spider Image Ten
That is a big spider.
10-28-2018

Tune Tuesday: I Can Tell By The Way You Dance 1984

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Vern Gosdin Image One
Photo Credit: notediscover.com

Thirty-five years ago, today, the #1 song on the Billboard Hot Country chart was I Can Tell By The Way You Dance (You’re Gonna Love Me Tonight) by Vern Gosdin from the album There Is A Season. Released on March 26 as the lead single, it was written by Sandy Pinkard (of Pinkard & Bowden) and Robb Strandlund.

The song, later on, also made it to #1 on Canada’s RPM Country chart.

Additional Reading:
“The Voice” Passes Away (CMT Website)
2017 Inductee (Nashville Songwriters Foundation Website)
Vern Gosdin Music (Official Website)

Lyrics

Shutterbug Saturday: Rogue Artistes 4.0

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This will be the last in the graffiti series for a while until some new ones show up or I find artwork somewhere else. All photos are my personal collection. © ~Vic
Part I/Part II/Part III

Seek Love Image One
This is really hard to see but, it says “Seek Love”.
Riverwalk path.
05-26-2019
Sell Souls Image Two
How to sell soul to a soulless people who sold their souls?
06-09-2017
Love More Image Three
Love More
06-01-2019
Nothing Is Easy Image Four
Nothing is easy, especially high voltage.
06-09-2017
One-Eyed Smile Image Five
One-eyed smile?
06-01-2019
Storm Cloud Image Six
Storm cloud over the soulless people.
How apropos…
06-01-2019
Smiley Image Seven
Smiley scribbled in the window.
This is the shed next to the house from the first post.
05-19-2019
New Canvas Image Eight
Remember the winter tree with the red heart, love, pain and voodoo?
It’s gone. New canvas for new art.
05-17-2019

Foto Friday: Critter Collections 5.0

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All Things Critter
All photos are my personal collection. ~Vic
Part I/Part II/Part III/Part IV

McKinley Spider Image One
A McKinley by the lamp post at the First Baptist Church.
The web was enormous.
09-02-2017
Orb Weaver Image Two
An Orb Weaver off the corner of the front porch.
09-22-2017
Preying Mantis Image Three
I guess she was enjoying the flowers.
10-02-2017
Preying Mantis Image Four
She posed for me.
What a ham.
Slug Image Five
Slug on the front porch.
10-18-2017
Lady Beetle Image Six
It took me a while to find this one.
Google “black bug, yellow dots” and you will get tons of pix.
This is an Asian lady beetle larva.
10-28-2017
Slug Image Seven
Larger slug on the side of the house.
06-16-2018
Moth Image Eight
Moth on the kitchen window.
04-03-2019

POTD: Stickwork Sculpture

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In November of 2015, Patrick Dougherty of Stickwork was commissioned by the Hillsborough Arts Council to craft a sculpture for our Riverwalk. The saplings were sustainably harvested from the Ayr Mount Historic Site. In December of last year, the heavy snowfall damaged the original piece and it was finally taken down. I’m glad I got some photos of it. ~Vic

Stickwork Sculpture Image One
“A Sight To Behold”
06-09-2017
Stickwork Marker Image Two
06-09-2017

Foto Friday: Critter Collections 4.0

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My fourth installment of all things critter. All photos and video are my personal collection. ~Vic
Part I/Part II/Part III

Spiderweb Image One
Lovely web.
04-15-2017
Spiderweb Image Two
Spider nowhere to be found.
Stink Bug Image Three
Oh, the stink bugs…
It’s a cat toy when it gets in the house.
Brown Marmorated Halyomorpha Halys
07-10-2017
Green Critter Image Four
Grasshopper of some sort.
He seems comfortable on my Coleus.
07-14-2017
Garden Spider Image Five
Argiope Aurantia, McKinley spider or zigzag spider.
It maintained a web in the Sedums for several days.
07-25-2017
Daddy Longlegs Image Six
Opilione, harvester, harvestman or Daddy Longlegs.
Ever seen a group of them bob? It’s a weird thing to see.
07-25-2017
Spider Hole Image Seven
I see feet but, I don’t know what kind it is.
07-25-2017
Orb Weaver Image Eight
Neoscona Crucifera, Orb Weaver or big, fat spider on the house.
09-17-2017

Shutterbug Saturday: Critter Collections 3.0

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All photos and video are my personal collection. I'm surprised some of these turned out as well as they did. The first six were taken with a Samsung Alias II…an old flip phone. ~Vic
Part I/Part II

Web Image One
Rogue spider in the Den.
06-01-2013
Web Image Two
It was a good-sized web.
Spider was nowhere to be found.
Big Spider Image Three
I nearly walked into this big web leaving work.
10-23-2013
Big Web Image Four
Healthy spider.
Bathroom Spider Image Five
These long-legged things freak me out.
They love to hang upside down in bathrooms.
08-22-2015
Bathroom Spider Image Six
Just ewwwww…
Leaf Grasshopper Image Seven
He looks like a leaf.
10-31-2016
Roach Image Eight
During a rainstorm, he crawled up on the kitchen window to dry off.
YUCK.
06-20-2017

I had forgotten that I had some videos of critters, too. I was trying to sing like a child, just being silly.
Clark was not impressed.