Monday, December 29, 2008

More Doggone Christmas and Post-Christmas Photos

This entry contains the other pictures from the past several days I intended to post...

Light and telephone utility pole silhouetted, sort of, on a cirrus-fleeced blue sky at the corner of Hopkins Ave. and Knox Rd. in College Park, Md., Dec. 27, 2008.

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Two days earlier ...

Here is another picture of Bernice at Quill's parents' house in Silver Spring, Md., Christmas Day, 2008. As I wrote in my entry earlier this week, Bernice is now over 13 years old and her health is beginning to decline.

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Here is another picture of Nicholas ("Nicky"), Quill's brother and sister-in-law's dog. Nicky is a Greyhound who was essentially abused by having to be involved in that frickin' Florida dog-racing industry before being "retired" and fortunately rescued. Apparently, Florida law allows this breed of dog to be treated as "livestock."

I wonder if Florida's closeted homosexual Republican governor (Charlie Crist, that is), who is now ensconced in his sham hetero marriage, will take a stand against dog racing.

I rather doubt it.

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Speaking of Florida (where I'm going next week to visit my dad for a week) and dogs, I'm going to take a doggy detour here ... I'm home right now watching an episode of "Dogs 101" on Animal Planet.

The pictures accompanying this section are ones I got off the internet, except the one of me, of course, with my dad and our dog from nearly 32 years ago in another place and time and life.

The pooches featured: French bulldog, poodle, Airedale terrier, Chihuahua, and Labrador retriever.

Of these, I think I love Labs for quintessential "dogness" and sheer dog love-ability and French bulldogs for doggy cuteness. The Labrador was bred from the bigger, shaggier Newfoundland.

Above is a picture of a black Lab puppy I found on the internet. Awwww ...

Chihuahuas have an uncertain lineage that may date back to the pre-Columbian era in the Americas, and some speculate the breed may not be entirely linked to the wolf but a type of fox. However, that's speculative.

Interestingly, the American Kennel Club insists that a "true" Chihuahua weigh 6 pounds or less. Also, apparently you shouldn't leave your small Chihuahua in a yard lest a particular large raptor decide the dog is lunch.

The poodle is clearly the most varied and one of the older breeds in existence. It is also ranked second in intelligence among breeds (however that is determined). A poodle can apparently convert in its mind a big printed out word ("SIT") into a command, but its a visual, not a "comprehension" thing as we know it.

FYI: border collies come in first on intelligence. The list (from a seemingly reputable site) is here.

My dad once had an Airedale "Ginger" but not for long. The Bull Mastiff he had "Borky" was my baby when I was a little boy in New Jersey.

Here is a picture of my dad, our dog "Borky" (I didn't name her), and myself as the young age of about 7 years old in my paternal grandparents' house in Long Branch, N.J., sometime in 1977. My goodness, could she drool and slobber when you ate in front of her.

He also had a St. Bernard "Wencel" who turned vicious -- tried to bite him, at least that's the story I was always told -- and he had him put down. That was when I was but a baby. He was still with my mom at the time and they lived in Middle Brook Apartments in Ocean, New Jersey. My mother remembers Wencel in the apt. and never felt completely comfortable around him. Ever-so-briefly it was my mom, dad, me as a baby and a very big St. Bernard.

My mom was always a cat person. Indeed, she is getting a new cat, "Sophie", this week. Her beloved "Sammie" died earlier this month.

Years later on his peripatetic wanderings from New Jersey across various Southern mostly beach towns from the NC OBX to the Myrtle Beach, S.C., to the Florida "Space Coast", my dad would segue from a dog person to a complete cat person. I wrote about when his last cat, Pyewackett, a.k.a. "My Guy Pye", died in June.

By the way, for your enjoyment, here is a map* showing the general locations and sequential ordering of his moves starting in N.J. in Jan. 1993 and ending in Flagler Beach at the start of 2009.

In reality, there were multiple moves around the Orlando and Ocala areas in the mid-1990s and at least three in his current Flagler Beach, Fla., abode, so that the total number is, as near as I can figure, actually closer to 19.

*Oh, yes, in making it, I inadvertently put #10 (his N. Myrtle Beach residence) over Charleston at first, and to correct this, I had to cut a small piece out from another JPEG image of a Google map screen capture and I didn't get the fit just right, ergo the coast of southern South Carolina is slightly askew.

Key West, Fla., may be next in 2009. Also, his New Jersey location was actually a bit farther north, but it would've covered the "r" in New Jersey.

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Returning to those random pictures from Christmas Day (Thursday) and this weekend (Saturday) I promised to post ...

As Gary and I were driving to the Honey Bee Diner to meet my mom ...

Driving past what I call "High Low Glen Burnie": the Friendly's establishment that has been their in its greasy nastiness since, well, forever -- certainly since I arrived there in 1982 at the age of 12 -- along B&A Blvd., Dec. 25, 2008.

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The "center point" of Glen Burnie, Md., address grid where Baltimore & Annapolis (B&A) Blvd. meets Central Ave. going west and the oddly named 40 Post Rd. going east. This was Christmas Day, Dec. 25, 2008.

Old Glen Burnie is actually divided like the District of Columbia into four quad - rants: NW, NE, SE, and SW.

However, this is just "old" Glen Burnie where the unelected Glen Burnie Improvement Association (GBIA) -- whose annual carnivals I used to participate in in the main kitchen area each summer with some high school classmates -- holds sway.

Furthermore, along Ritchie Highway and some other roads, the street addresses are actually numbered out of Baltimore.

Glen Burnie itself is just an unincorporated area in Anne Arundel County, formed mostly by the combo of the 21061 and 21060 postal "ZIP" codes. Only Annapolis (the state capital) and Highland Beach are incorporated towns in "Ana Runnel Kenny."

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Back at the Honey Bee Diner with Gary and my mom, Christmas Day, 2008, Glen Burnie, Md.

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After lunch, Gary and I started on our circuitous drive back to the D.C. area to Silver Spring ...

Behold the house at 268 Oakwood Village Court in Glen Burnie, Md., where between the ages of 16 and 23 I lived with my mom and Ray (step-dad) from April 1986 through June 1993, not continuously as I was also away at college part of the time.

The worst part of my Glen Burnie teenage years occurred in this house. Some very bad things happened in that house but no sense going into that now.

I used to have the upstairs room toward the right rear (hidden by the tree). The view looks over Rt. 100 toward the south and southwest. At night with an overcast at suitable altitude (8,000 to 15,000 feet), you could see the glow of the 25-mile distant Washington, D.C. area on the clouds.

Of course, D.C. is where I would end up -- with some of my own unhappy incidents under that very same night time city glow, such as the Mr. Sirius one.


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Gary and I stopped at the Giant in Glen Burnie, Md., before heading to Silver Spring, Md., so we wouldn't show up empty handed at the Christmas dinner. That's Gary in the floral department.

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A house in the 9100 block of Sligo Creek Parkway, Silver Spring, Md., Dec. 25, 2008

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Dusk on Christmas Day, 2008, as seen from Quill's parents' backyard, Silver Spring, Maryland

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Here Bernice eats her Christmas dinner, Silver Spring, Md., Dec. 25, 2008

Yes, I put the Coke can there.

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On Saturday (see previous entry), I went up to College Park, Md., and was able to get $78 for a $130 text book I had to purchase (but basically never used) in my state and local government budgeting class. The University Bookstore wasn't buying it back, but BookHolders was.

Here is Yours Truly, Regulus, at the College Park - U of Md Metro station on my way back into D.C.

The University campus is nearly totally deserted from about Dec. 23rd through about Jan. 4th each year.

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Dusk falling over Washington, D.C. in the 1700 block of 13th St., NW, Dec. 27, 2008. I got off at the U St - Cardozo Metro and took a rather roundabout way back home via Logan Circle and the 17th St. Safeway.

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A streetlight silhouetted at sunset, corner of 13th and R St., NW, Washington, D.C., Dec. 27, 2008.

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An ornate late 19th Century building (I'm guessing it's from that period), 1500 block of 13th St., NW, Washington, D.C., Dec. 27, 2008. This is right next to Logan Circle.

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Logan Circle in Washington, D.C., with the silhouetted figure of Sen. and Civil War era (Union) Gen. John A. Logan astride his horse.

As an aside, Boston's Logan International Airport is named for Major Gen. Edward L. Logan, who was in the Spanish American War and World War I and who headed the old 26th Infantry Division.

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Last image ...

Looking south down 13th St., NW, from Logan Circle, Washington, D.C., at dusk, Dec. 27, 2008. Thereafter, I headed back to Dupont Circle (after taking the picture at Thomas Circle that was my top image in the previous entry).

That's all for now. I will end this entry. I'll try to have one more entry before New Years Eve.

--Regulus

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