Sunday, November 30, 2008


Cormac and Dan drinking pints in a pub.Apropos of nothing, other than this last day of November, 2008, has been a particularly sodden and lonely one, when there is so much uncertainly in the world and too many examples of man's inhumanity to man, and that I wanted to recall better times and company, here's a picture of my old friend Cormac Clancy and me having a pint in a pub outside of Dublin in December of 2001, the occasion being an impulsive decision by Donna and me to hop a flight to Ireland to celebrate my 40th birthday. (Cormac is the good looking one.)

The decision to make the trip had been rash, considering that the attacks of September 11 and the attendant fears of travel abroad that followed, still hung over everything. Looking back of course, no regrets. A wonderful time we'll remember the rest of our lives.

In a few weeks from now we will make this trip again. We won't be celebrating my birthday this time (it will have passed), but Donna's daughter and father, who will accompany us along with Donna's son and mother, will see in their twentieth and seventy-third years while we are there. Certainly, occasions they will always remember.

And we will all see in a new year. Here's to hoping it will be a good one, not only for us, but for you and yours as well, and the rest of the world, too.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

CHillie afternoon

Face of CHillie.That's CHillie. She hangs out on the northeast corner of Germantown and Southampton in Chestnut Hill. She is truly a Renaissance bear. Not only is she a work of art...

All of CHillie, showing she is also a map and a bench.but also a cool and funky map of Chestnut Hill and environs (or perhaps I should say imaginations). And a bench!

She is the creation of artist Rebecca McKillip Thornburgh, and you can read (and see) all about how she came to be on Rebecca's blog.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sarah can't hurt this one

Polar Bear's face in window display.Window display, Robertson's Flowers, Chestnut Hill, Sunday afternoon.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Bear with me...

Sculpture of a bear in front of a restaurant.That's Gus, according to a plaque in the sidewalk, standing in front of the Melting Pot restaurant, near the intersection of Germantown and Southampton Avenues, in Chestnut Hill. I like to think of him as the ambassador of fondue.

Bear with me. This is the beginning of a theme...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Der himmel über Chesnut Hill

Germantown Avenue, Bethlehem Pike.Intersection of Germantown Avenue and Bethlehem Pike, Sunday afternoon.

Yesterday (Saturday, November 15) felt freakishly like summer. The temperature soared into the seventies, and the humidity was as oppressive as any day in August. To top it off, the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for the area into the evening. I stepped out onto my front porch toward the middle of the afternoon to see my neighbor across the street, in shirt sleeves, struggling to set up his Christmas display.

Throughout the night, wind and lashing rain marked the onset of a cold front. This afternoon the temperature was nearly thirty degrees cooler than yesterday, with enough left over wind to drive the cold right through you. The sky had that classic late autumn look, thick gray clouds piled under bright blue. I pulled down the ear flaps on my cap when I went out. The holiday decorations in store windows and lampposts on my trip to Chestnut Hill seemed entirely appropriate.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Wait, wait... don't read this!

Update: here she is!

Erin of, well, Erin fame, will become even more famous after Saturday when she appears as a contestant on NPR's Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me!

I'm not going to say whether or not she wins... Okay, I am. She wins.

If you don't believe me, call her at (123) 555-9876, and hear Carl Kasell's voice on her answering machine. I swear this is true. Except for the phone number, which I made up.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Full circle

Tulip poplars in fall.Fall,
Tulip poplars in sumer.summer
Tulip poplars in spring.
Tulip poplars in winter.and winter.

Tulip poplars, in the grove down from Park Line Drive.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Donna's favorite tree, my backyard, Sunday afternoon. (And she took this photo, too.)

Hint: if your really want to see the tree, enlarge the image by clicking on it, and check out the reflection in the window.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Golden maple leaf.Maple leaf, Sunday afternoon, in the grove below Park Line Drive.

Donna and I were headed down into the Wissahickon to take photographs of the giant tulip poplars.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Purple berries.Purple berries, a neighbor's yard, Sunday afternoon.

I have no idea what these fellas are, but they sure are pretty. If you do, please let us know.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Kinda like the week after Christmas

An Obama sign in a yard strewn with fallen leaves.Nearly a week has passed since the election, but the yards here in Germantown and Mt. Airy are still displaying their Obama signs. We Democrats haven't won an election in quite some time, and I suppose we don't know how to handle it. Of course, this is unlike any election any of us have ever seen, given that so much is at stake. Also, the man we have elected seems extraordinarily qualified to handle the task.

To be sure, the times ahead will be long and hard, and if we are to get through them, we will have to all pitch in, a theme Mr. Obama has struck throughout his campaign.

But for now, it feels like the days after Christmas, when nobody wants to be the first to take down his Christmas tree, hoping to hold on to all those good feelings, and to stave off thoughts of all of the work that lies ahead in the year to come.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

So proud

American flag.

Wissahickon in Autumn

Wissahickon Creek, from Rex Avenue Bridge, Saturday afternoon.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Rex Avenue Bridge

Rex Avenue Bridge.My bike has been begging to be included on the blog, so I've finally given in.

Thomas Mill Covered Bridge

Thomas Mill Covered Bridge.Saturday afternoon.