Gallery — Brooklands Museum, 2011

The British motorsport venue known as Brooklands was built in Weybridge, Surrey in 1907. It included the world’s first dedicated racetrack and an early airfield, and it was the host of many car, motorcycle and bicycle races until WWII. During and after the war, it became a major center for aircraft design, construction and flight testing. Since 1987 the Brooklands Museum has dominated the property, with vintage military and civilian aircraft (including a Concorde and other airliners), cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, and bicycles.

These photos are not so much documents of the exhibits as they are explorations of color, light and form. They’re best viewed at full size (some have a lot of detail). Each one will open in a new window when you click the version displayed in this post.

Brooklands Museum, 2011 #24 picture

Brooklands #24


More photos — Brooklands Museum, 2011

Better Than the Average Joe

500px-Coffe_time

By Takkk (CC-BY-SA-3.0), via Wikimedia Commons

There’s nothing quite like a really good cup of coffee. In spite of the popularity of one ubiquitous beverage store (which we shall not name), most of what they sell isn’t so much coffee as liquid candy, which I admit has its moments. Mmm, mocha!

But real coffee is essentially about the flavor you can extract from coffee beans, which is unique, complex, and in my opinion, not to be missed. I’ll go so far as to lighten and sweeten my coffee a bit, but only to enhance the natural flavor of the brew.

This post describes how to make great tasting coffee, and ignores its physiological effects. So if you mainly drink coffee for the caffeine boost, there’s no need to read further.
Read further — Better Than the Average Joe

Gallery — Nevada County Fair, 2011

These photos are best viewed at full size (some have a lot of detail). Each one will open in a new window when you click the version displayed in this post.

Nevada County Fair, 2011 #65 picture

#65 — All Together


More photos — Nevada County Fair, 2011

One Way to Beat the Tobacco Monkey

Common adverse effects of tobacco smoking (See...

Image via Wikipedia

I listened earlier this year to a piece on NPR’s Talk of the Nation called “Kicking The Cigarette Habit A Global Challenge” (punctuation theirs). I have some experience in this area, and on the off chance that it’s helpful to some struggling tobacco user, I thought I’d relate my own story of quitting the cancer stick several decades ago.

My family history is rife with tobacco casualties. Grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles have succumbed to lung cancer, and my father smoked four packs a day when I was young. He eventually had no choice but to stop smoking during a month-long hospital stay, and to his credit, he never started again.
Keep reading — One Way to Beat the Tobacco Monkey

Losing Weight: Yes We Can

1906 Weight-loss picture

Image by Nevada Tumbleweed via Flickr

Before the current child-obesity epidemic got started, Americans under 25 years old were, to a great degree, almost effortlessly fit. Mind you, we were more likely to down a six-pack than to sport one on our torsos. But that was a benefit of youth; we could consume what we wanted, eschew exercise, stay up late, and as long as we stayed out of trouble, chances were that we’d still be in decent shape.

Then we turned 30, and everything started to change. The difference was subtle at first, but it accelerated. Weight gain, rising blood pressure, weaker muscles, brittle bones, all were inevitable if we did nothing about it. I went from being thin to, as my mother kindly put it, “stocky.”

Losing weight is a daunting prospect for the typical deskbound adult. As we get older, even the healthiest among us have to go out of their way to eat right (but not too much) and exercise if they want to maintain a decent level of health and fitness. The trick, in my view, is to integrate the right behavior into one’s lifestyle, so it doesn’t seem like such a sacrifice.
Keep reading — Losing Weight: Yes We Can

Cultivating Better (Tomato) Taste, Part 3

A scanned red tomato, along with leaves and fl...

Image via Wikipedia

In Part 2 of this series, I discussed how to choose a tomato variety, establish appropriate growing conditions, and plant the tomato seedling. In this post, I address watering, cultivation, problem solving and harvesting.

This is not a step by step tutorial. Each brand of planter comes with its own instructions for planting and cultivation, so I won’t duplicate those instructions here. I’ll emphasize some of the key points they make and add my own comments.
Keep reading — Cultivating Better (Tomato) Taste, Part 3

I Love Movies

Antique cinema poster

Image via Wikipedia

You can call them Movies, Films, Talkies, Motion Pictures, or Cinema. . .um. . .Shows. I love them.

I can’t help it. I find something to appreciate in most of the films I’ve seen. I don’t mean to say that quality writing, directing and acting aren’t to be valued and demanded, but if a film’s creators clearly produced what they intended to, I try to appreciate it on its own terms. No film is perfect.

I especially relish discovering an obscure independent film with an unusual take on a particular theme or production style. I’ve compiled a list of (in my opinion) truly great, mostly obscure films on my Movies page. They present their themes especially well, and their weaknesses are easy to overlook. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing each one multiple times. That, for me, is the ultimate test of a great film.

Take a look at the Movies page.

Gallery — Seattle to Victoria from Above

Antibiotics: A Double-Edged Sword

Novamoxin Prescription Drug - Amoxicillin Trih...

Image via Wikipedia

Too much of a good thing will quickly become a very bad thing, if we don’t put a stop to it.

Antibiotic medications (the most famous example being penicillin) are prescribed by doctors as an effective way to combat infections by killing harmful bacterial organisms in our bodies. Antibacterial household products (like hand soap) offer a topical way to achieve the same result with surface bacteria on the skin. But both can produce a higher risk of future infections.
Keep reading — Antibiotics: A Double-Edged Sword

If Memory Doesn’t Serve. . .

crawling up the mountain

Image by JKönig via Flickr

Have you ever had an experience that you couldn’t remember a short while later, or the next day? I don’t mean anything mystical or abstract, but an actual failure of memory. (I don’t include dreams, because I’m not awake for them, and besides, they’re not real.)

This recently happened to me for the first time. It was unnerving.
Keep reading — If Memory Doesn’t Serve. . .

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