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August 31, 2012

Walking In - 8/30/12

Cool and sunny.
Today I'll try to climb the stairs of Coit Tower
Trees shed leaves uncertainly
Is this Fall?

No one knows and a city worker sweeps up piles of fallen yellow leaves and purple Bougainvillea petals
A sign says "Please close gate" and beneath that, "Farewell"
Climbing to the sun through cool groves of Monterey Cypress

Thinly poured slabs of sunlight push in between the trees
Deep fried Asians perform calisthenic rituals

Coit tower: "Open 10:00 a.m. Daily" :(

Continue reading "Walking In - 8/30/12"

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 31, 2012 at 6:02 PM : Comments (1) | Permalink

Walking In - 8/29/12

When I get to Market and Sansome, a homeless guy that I don't recognize catches my attention
No shirt, dreadlocks, body covered in tattoos,
No socks.
No shoes.
He's wearing underwear on his feet

That's what draws my attention...he's wearing underwear on his feet.
So, I start shooting him from a safe distance with the long lens.
He's digging through one of the free newspaper dispensers, which is not unusual
The homeless routinely use these for lockers, trash cans, drop boxes, etc.
But the underwear on his feet is a sign that cannot be missed.

Continue reading " Walking In - 8/29/12"

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 31, 2012 at 5:55 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

August 26, 2012

Walking In - 8/22/12

The cathedral bells ring 9:00 am and pigeons and crows explode from the bell towers
No foghorns today, sadly
The crows call through thick fog as I pick my way through surreal gardens
the work of the mad gardeners of Telegraph Hill

Juniper, Date Palms, Ficus, and Hydrangeas.
Narrow crumbling wet brick steps and cold steel handrails
Agapanthus, lemon trees, and orange roses.
What's so sad is that I grew up around these plants and never knew and never cared

Fuchsias and banana plants and flowers I used to know
Periwinkles and ivy
Seagulls cry as a tugboat pulls into the Embarcadero
Angels Trumpet and hummingbirds and tarnished workers chatting in Mexican
Above Julius Castle I watch a container ship slip beneath the bay bridge
On his way back to Asia

Continue reading "Walking In - 8/22/12"

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 26, 2012 at 6:16 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Walking in - 8/21/12

I meet my neighbor Sebastian pulling his laundry through the fog
The only man I ever met that's "from Amsterdam"
No one escapes from that city

I turn to trudge up the stairs to Coit Tower in the cool morning mist
But I turn back to find where the man had a grand mal seizure
and ran his Lincoln into a bar
Magnolias and Fuchsias and skateboarders

North beach citizens peer out into the cold from warm bakery havens
Cops double-park and rush into Trieste for a coffee
The strip clubs get fresh whitewash by Chinese man on a ladder
Pigeons peck at puddles of rubbish on street sides

2 tourists pose for awkward Transamerica shots in cold mayonnaise streets
And suddenly it dawns on me
Tourist season is over!
We have the city to ourselves!

Continue reading "Walking in - 8/21/12"

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 26, 2012 at 6:11 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Walking In - 8/2/12

Foghorn symphony calls from a lost bay
Flowers I once knew but lost their names in the fog
Lombard street corkscrews down the hill but only one taxi rides down it today
Climbing Telegraph Hill through tortured cypress

Chinese babble in foreign tongues
Descending now on aching calves
Deeply shaded park on crumbling brick staircase
Women struggle uphill past me on trembling calves and tight asses

Angels Trumpet and hummingbirds
Deep shade of foreign trees
Little girls bounce by and say 'morning' with foreign accents

Continue reading "Walking In - 8/2/12"

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 26, 2012 at 6:05 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Walking In - 8/1/12

Walls of purple Bougainvillea and broad Date Palms
Hydrangeas in white, pink, and purple
Sidewalks turn into stairs and keep climbing up and up towards Coit Tower
Tourists speaking other languages

Now down cool twisting narrow brick staircases in the shade of Monterrey Cyprus
Terraced gardens of ivy and Impatiens
Now the Bay Bridge in late morning haze
Green leafy, vines strangling pines

Cruise ship so close there on the Embarcadero and gulls crying as tugboat struggles to keep it together
Workers lounge beneath the jungle canopy when they should be working
Now, legs quivering I see what I'd suspected all along
I'm in horrible shape

Continue reading "Walking In - 8/1/12"

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 26, 2012 at 6:03 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Walking In - 07/31/12

At the corner of California and Sansome
Shivering as the sun boils off the morning's fog jacket
Headphones, cameras, iPhone
I'm wearing all these electronics, in tune with the mob,
but somehow isolated and alone all at once

The herd spills into the crosswalk and I don't even look at the lights any more
I've truly become just another bait-fish in the school
Just go with the flow

We push across California
Cable Car cables popping and grinding beneath the city streets
I want to lay down on the road and fall asleep dreaming to the sound
A chef pushes a food cart through the street, bouncing it roughly across the tracks
No one bats an eye

What madness this city conceals.

Continue reading "Walking In - 07/31/12"

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 26, 2012 at 5:59 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Walking in - 7/26/12

City workers huddle over subterranean water meters.
Cold n cloudy with a chance of tourists
Shivering line at Mama's in hats and jackets
Rico on the sidewalk now
"Where were u last night?" he asks

My drinking buddy
"Did u find your keyboard?" he continues.
"You had it when you left. You put it in your pants."
"I know i know but i cannot find it now."

Continue reading "Walking in - 7/26/12"

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 26, 2012 at 5:54 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

August 25, 2012

The Pole Gardener


Posted by Rob Kiser on August 25, 2012 at 9:11 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

August 20, 2012

The Man That Invented the Internally Programmable Computer


Posted by Rob Kiser on August 20, 2012 at 12:13 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

August 19, 2012

The Stairs of San Francisco


Posted by Rob Kiser on August 19, 2012 at 11:33 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Postcards From Nowhere: Monticello

I begged off a couple of weeks from work and spent a week in MS and a week in CO just sort of hanging out. These are some shots from when I was in Monticello, MS the week of August 6th, 2012.

The images were all captured on a Canon EOS 50D frame and a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM image-stabilized, ultra-sonic telescopic zoom lens, or on a Canon EOS 50D frame with a Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4.0-5.6 IS USM lens.

Although I shot most of these images, Carrie shot a few good ones, including the cattle egret photos, and a very nice shot of Red Bluff. Basically, she ignored my advice and got a better photo than I did. It happens. Also, I think that Alyssa took the photos the two of us.

This slideshow features a song by One Republic called Good Life.

The images are compiled into an 8 Meg (4:00) Adobe Flash slideshow (1208MS.swf) that you should be able to open and view with any browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, etc.). To view the slideshow, just click on the photo above. If you want to view the slideshow as a Windows executable, you can play this version (1208MS.exe), and it allows you to play, pause, skip forward, backwards, etc.

Image post-processing was done in Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended. The slideshow was created using Imagematics Stillmotion Pro.

Click here to view the other slideshows.

Lyrics in the extended entry.

Continue reading "Postcards From Nowhere: Monticello"

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 19, 2012 at 8:45 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Chautauqua Park, Crystal Springs, MS

Lake Chautauqua

One of the oldest man-made lakes in Mississippi still in existence, the 34 acre Lake Chautauqua was constructed in 1895 by the Illinois Central Railroad for the purpose of supplying water to steam locomotives. The site was chosen in part due to Crystal Springs being the highest elevation along the railroad between Memphis and New Orleans, thus a logical stop for the resupply of water. Captain Frederick Y. Dabney designed the lake and supervised the clearing and construction of the earthen dam to impound the spring fed headwaters of Clear Creek. The lake was constructed before the use of modern machinery and employed mule teams and hard labor.

Water from Lake Chautauqua was pumped by a steam driver pump located east of here on the north shore of the lake. Banded wooden pipes carried the water from the pump to the railroad in town.

By the time of the construction of Lake Chautauqua, Crystal Springs was an important stop not only for the visitors to Chautauqua but also as a major freight hub for the shipment of locally grown tomatoes and other truck crops. Shipments of produce go back to 1870 when when peaches were first shipped followed by other produce and eventually tomatoes. Crystal Springs soon became known as the "Tomatopolis of the World" and shipped the tomatoes by rail to markets from coast to coast.

Continue reading "Chautauqua Park, Crystal Springs, MS"

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 19, 2012 at 5:45 PM : Comments (1) | Permalink

August 18, 2012

Rob's Home Network

As Rob Kiser wrote yesterday, his he has two Internet Service Providers (ISP); Wispertel/Skybeam and Century Link.

This was done because of frequent outages, which cause this web-site to go off-line for days at a time. It's not so much that the network and/or power outages last for days, but nobody is around to reboot the I.S.P. modem and/or P.C. when Rob is traveling. I've often suggested that he plug everything into one of those outlet-timers, that will automatically cycle power to his equipment once-a-day at zero-dark-thirty.

Below is a simplified diagram of his network, based on talking to him, and what I saw when I was at his place yesterday :


What Rob wants is to have two internet connections, so that

(1) he doesn't lose connectivity to the internet if one ISP fails, and

(2) connections from the internet to his web site, www.PeenieWallie.com (perhaps you've heard of it?), work if one ISP fails.

Continue reading "Rob's Home Network"

Posted by Robert Racansky on August 18, 2012 at 11:56 AM : Comments (2) | Permalink

August 16, 2012

Peenie Wallie Lives!

Wow. That wasn't easy. Today, I fixed three different internet service provider connections. Both of my connections to my two different ISP's weren't working when I woke up this morning. And neither was Michelle's. But I got all three of them working after struggling for some time.

Wow. Big relief to have everything pretty much back to normal. Yikes. I wonder how other people do this?

On my home network, I have 2 internet service providers, 3 wireless routers, 2 Network Addressable Storage units. 4 desktop PC's, 2 iPhones, 2 iPads, 3 notebook PC's, a printer, and a scanner. I honestly don't know how other people cope with this. Computers are pretty much all I've worked on in my life and they frustrate me so much I want to start Killing Strangers.

Posted by Rob Kiser on August 16, 2012 at 7:25 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink