WE’RE IN FOR A BLOW, BOYS!

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Yesterday morning it dawned rather humid.  The weather forecasters were calling for Severe Storms in the afternoon.  I didn’t pay much attention, and just too it as another “cry wolf” as has happened before.  This time I was wrong!

Around 4:45 pm my Phone Alert went off telling me that I severe storm was heading our way.  Humm .  .  .  now this made me take a look.  Went outside and saw dark clouds coming in from the West, as they always do when bad weather is coming.  Oh Crap!  This does not look good at all!  On top of that the phone alert came on again saying that we were under a Tornado Warning!  Not good!  When ever I hear this, it will concern me.

I went outside, because I have a habit of liking to watch Storms as they come rolling thru.  The wind started picking up and I could hear Thunder in the distance.  The sky got much darker and then a blast of heavy wind came in almost knocking me off my feet.  It was getting very windy with some slight rain.  I’m watching the sky and listening for a “freight train” sound and hoping I don’t see a funnel cloud.  Thank goodness I didn’t.  No Tornado, but it did blow rather hard and had some heavy rain.  It lasted about 10 min. and then slowed down, with the wind diminishing.  I’m always concerned with heavy wind, because of the large Pin Oak Tree out in the front yard.  This Storm was one of the heavy hitters!  No damage to the house.  Just alot of leaves and twigs to pick up after.

I’ve been in some heavy weather during my time in the US Navy.  I’ve been in and seen heavy wind at sea and a Typhoon!  That one scared me.  The ship was heaving up & down, side to side with waves crashing over the 02 Level.

OLE #113

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This above Image is of the ole Steam Engine #113.  Located in the Coal Mining Town of Minersville, PA she was once used to haul Coal & passengers from towns above and below Minersville.  I don’t think that the old steam train is used anymore.  Placed here as a static display.

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Don’t know which view looks better.

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Here is the old Minersville Train Station that is no longer used.  Built in or around 1897 this Station once was a much used Station for passengers long ago.  The train tracks in front of the Station are still used to this day, but no trains stop here.  There are doors located on the building just to to left of the Station, but they were locked.  I wanted to get inside and shoot the old waiting room, but could not do that.  Was disappointed on that.  My Loving Wife, who was born & raised here in Minersville tells me that the Station was still in used while she lived here.  Minersville is another Coal Town that is full of History.

Thank you.

THE BIG BOYS!

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While up in the Coal Region area yesterday, I came across these HUGE earth/coal hauling trucks.  They are known as “Yukes” in this area.  They are massive!  Notice the driver at the lower left compared to the truck.

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A better look at this truck.  What they were doing here was reclaiming the Land that once was a “Strip Mine” years ago.  A “Stripie” as they are called is a big hole in the ground used to mine Coal from the near surface.  When all the Coal was taken out, it was left as it was.  A big huge scar in the earth!  Now, slowly, the Land is being filled in to help Mother Nature grow, that was once a waste land.

There are a number of “Stripie Mines” that are still left over from long ago.  A good portion of them are full of water and can be more than 200 ft. deep!  The machinery that was used is left at the bottom of the Mine.  It’s not really a good idea to go swimming in these “Stripie Mines”.  You have no idea what your going to encounter!  The water is darn cold because it’s usually spring/or rain water that has filled the hole over the years.  There have been people that drowned in these open holes.  Sometimes the temptation is just too great on a hot summer day to take a swim.  By doing this, you just may loose your Life!

 

Thank you.

OLD MILK SHED

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Located right alongside the Union Canal, this old Milk Shed has been here for a long time.

Back in the very early day’s of the Union Canal there used to be a working Farm here.  This was the way that produce, and milk were kept cold with a natural Spring that once ran thru the Shed.  There were no refrigerators then, no ice, and no air conditioning anywhere to be found.  If you open the door, there is nothing there except storage for the Park Service.  One or two old milk cans are all that is left.  The old Barn is just off to the right of my Image.  Now used by the Park Service for bathrooms, and a small soda fountain that never seems to be open.

Thank you.

ON HALLOWED GROUND.3

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Over 150 yrs. ago, this field was full of dead & wounded Soldiers from both sides of the Civil War.  There is a sign behind me that said “No Relic Hunting.”

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Fences of the Battlefield.  For this shot, I had to “sneak in” on a dirt road that normal traffic was not allowed by the Park Service.  Didn’t get caught!  Whew!

While I was down here in Gettysburg, I spent a good 5 hrs. here driving around.  Even though snooping around I still missed some key area’s.  Eisenhower Farm is one of them.  I had only allowed myself so much time, because it is a long drive home.  Maybe next time.

 

I will try and make this one the last Post on Gettysburg.  My next stop will be to Antietam National Battlefield Park in MD.

Thanks so much for all your likes.

ON HALLOWED GROUND.2

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This is a cement monument to the 90th Pennsylvania Regiment that was in action here on the morning of July 1st, 1863.

During the fight on the 1st day, this area was once a wooded section.  Most of the trees were blown away from musket & cannon fire.  When I looked more closely at the “tree” there was a musket, a nap sac, a rifle, and a canteen that was hung here by a Soldier from the 90th Pennsylvania during a lull in the action.  He sat here to take a short rest from death & fighting that was just below him.

There is also a bird nest at the very top, and a cannon ball that split the tree.  The bird nest is supposed to show that Life will go on, despite what happened here.  I don’t know if it was the original ball that shattered this tree.  Probably not.

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A 10 lb. Parrot Cannon used by both Union & Confederate Forces at the Battle of Gettysburg.

 

Thank you.

ON HALLOWED GROUND.1

THE STORY OF IVERSON’S PITS.

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On July 1, 1863, the men of Alfred Iverson’s North Carolina Brigade had arrived at Gettysburg and were preparing to outflank the Union First Corps at Oak Hill. This spot was the northernmost point of Seminary Ridge. They were formed into their line of battle and advanced towards a line of trees about 300 yds. away. The Brigade was made up of the 5th, 12th, 20th, and 23rd North Carolina Infantries. To their left front was a low stone wall but they paid it no mind, they were confident in their success. They believed that they were about to crash through the woods and roll up the flank of the Yankees on the other side.

Suddenly, a vast sheet of flame erupted from the stone wall. Some Federal soldiers,who were crouched down behind the wall, could not believe their good fortune at having an entire Confederate Brigade served up to them on a platter, so they burst over the top of the wall and let loose a withering volley at the unsuspecting rebels. Unfortunately for the Confederates, Iverson, their commander, had not deployed an advance line of skirmishers in order to prevent any surprises. Hundreds of North Carolinian fell in straight lines just as they had marched. In the days after the battle, they were buried in an unmarked mass grave, virtually in the same spots where they fell. For years after, the farmer who owned ” Iverson’s Pits ” claimed that his wheat grew the tallest in that part of his field.

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This is what IVERSON’S PITS looks like today.  The Stone Wall is gone, but if you look close to the left bottom of my Image, you can still make out the depression.

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This is looking what is the rest of the field that was off to my right.  Much to my surprise, there is only 1 small Monument to mark the spot where all these Confederate men died.  Also, there is nothing on the Map to show where this is.  It was a bit hard to find.  There was also nothing along the Main Tour Road to show this spot.  Wondering why?

There is also something else that I found out about.  It is told that this place is Haunted by the Spirits from the past.  Strange noise’s, yelling, and what sounds like gun fire have been known to be heard at night.  Makes me wonder, since I do believe that Spirits & Ghosts, if all that is true.  While walking in this area, I never heard anything except the wind and birds chirping.  In my future Posts about “On Hallowed Ground” there are other documented Haunting s at other places.  There is nothing here to show what horrible action took place here so long ago.

Thank you.

ON HALLOWED GROUND

 

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Yesterday was going to be such a beautiful day, I thought that this is the day to make a 3 hr. road trip to Historic Gettysburg.  Was glad that I did.  It was just a perfect day for this.  Clear skies & warm temperatures made for a great time to walk around with my Nikon.

Like the sign say’s, here in this area is where the Army of Virginia, approaching Gettysburg, from the top of the Image, engaged Union Forces coming from the bottom of the Image.  This was on the opening day of the fight, July 1, 1863.  The building off to the left corner of my Image was not there at the time.  It is a “comfort” stop for everyone to use.  The Fence was there at the time, but was destroyed by Confederate Forces.  It was re-built by the Gettysburg Historical Park to show what the battlefield was back then.

This area was the site of some horrendous fighting between the two forces.  Many lives were lost in this area with the fierce hand-to-had fighting, cannon fire, and musket fire that took a horrible toll on both sides.

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This is the McPherson Farm that was caught in the fight on the 1st day of the battle.  This farm was owned by Edward McPherson and built in 1837.  John Stentz was living here at the time.  The Farm House that was here burned down in 1895.  That’s why you don’t see everything that used to be here.  As the fighting progressed thru this area, the Barn was used as a Hospital for both Union & Confederate forces.  The dead & wounded soldiers littered the fields all around the barn.  The Barn received heavy damage during the fight from cannon & musket fire.  There are still holes in the stone from musket fire embedded in the barn that you can’t see from a distance.  The Monument on the upper corner of the Image is one of Gen. Buford that was in command of the Union at the time.

It’s a bit hard to stand here and try to visualize all the fighting that took place here.  It was quiet now.  No sound, except traffic moving.  Birds were chirping and this Hallowed Ground was once turned Red with the blood of Union & Confederate Forces.  Each one fighting for what they believed in.

UNION CANAL

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Hello there!  Sorry that I’ve been away from WP for awhile, but had another problem.  This time it was with WordPress!  For some reason, WP wanted me to start paying for my Site!  I’ve never done that before in all the time I’ve had this account!  Why?  Made me on the cranky side.  Contacted WP and was told to down-load the new WP Site.  The site was in a Zip File and I hate those things.  I always mess them up and then can’t find what I did!  So, to make a long story short, I then tried using Internet Explorer.  Had to sign back into everything!  Now, I’m hoping that this will keep working good like it is so far.

Ok.  I’m back to normal as before.  The above Image is one that I took of the Towpath alongside the old Union Canal.  It’s in HD.  I go to this place quite often.  It seems that it’s a magnet for me.  Always looking for something a bit different.  With this one I liked the path stretching into the trees with the shadows.

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For this one I tried something different.  I had purchased a small Tripod that will get low on a subject.  Like ground level.  A different perspective you could call it.  I had to get down on all 4’s to take this shot.  The problem with doing this is that when I have to get that low, I have a bit of trouble getting back up on my 2 legs!  The ole’ legs don’t work as well as they used to!  Not happy about it, but not much I can do right now.  Just have to be careful!

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While walking along the Path, I noticed these Blue Bells growing alongside the old Canal.  For some reason, there are not many flowers like this to be seen.  Why, I have no idea.  Had to shoot this from a low position to get a nice shot of them.  Got back up again after about 5 min. of trying!

Thank you!

THE GARMENT INDUSTRY

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As I had mentioned in my last Post, I stated that there would be more coming later.  During the 1930’s, 40’s, and 50’s the making of Ladies Laungire was a huge business here in Reading, PA.  One of the biggest makers of Laungire was the Berkshire Knitting Mills or also called The Textile Machine Works.  For many years this complex made garments of all kinds to be shipped all over the USA.  More than 1000 employees worked here on all shifts.  It was a 24 – 7 operation.  This complex had its own dye building, a barber shop, lunch cafeteria, and power building that supplied the power needed to run all the knitting machines.  I have never seen this complex in its heyday, but I can only Imagine what it used to be.

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Taken from the Textile Machine Works web-site, this is just how big it used to be.

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This is looking at part of the old complex.  The Power building is off to the right of the Image.

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Here I’m trying to show just how big this place is.  During its operation, there were windows where you see the white portions of the building.  All 4 floors were in production with Knitting Machines that needed constant attention.

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The inside of one of the buildings during its day’s of manufacture.

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Another one of the different buildings in the complex.

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This is looking down the long rows of support poles that were there when the Knitting Machines were running.  If you look at one of my above Images, you can still see those same support poles.  These are looking fancier than before.  You almost can still hear the noise of machinery from long ago.

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Here’s another looking the other way.  The thing about these 2 Images, is that I had to “sneak in” the building and shoot the camera.  There were signs pasted on the windows & doors “No Entry Authorized Entry Only”  Oops!  Thought I’d take a chance and see what happens!  No one was looking!  So in I went.

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After the Textile Machine Works went out of business in the 70’s, it was converted over to a Factory Outlet Store where people could buy all kinds of different clothes at a much cheaper price.  It was in business for many years until it also failed.  Why this was, I don’t know.  The Stores that occupied the buildings were from all the different big name products.  Now, the present day all the buildings are being converted over to Luxury Apartments.  Just how fancy, remains to be seen.

CHILDHOOD PLACES

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Hello there everyone!  Having a good time?  Hope you are all well.

Thought that I’d do some places that I remember so well during my Childhood day’s in Hamburg, PA.  The above Image is one of the Hamburg Park that I used to spend so very much time in.  It has changed somewhat over the passing years, and I think the change has made it a bit better.

Back when I was 8-10 yrs. young, my Mother had to work during the day, so she would drop me off here and was told to “Stay here until I come to get you”.  I did what I was told to do or suffer the wrath of my angry Mother.  The plastic play set you see in the foreground was not there at the time.  It was just a big empty grass space.  The was no covered open Patio on the extreme left.  However, the larger building to the right of it was there as long as I can remember.  This place had crafts to make for us kids most every day.  There was always something there to do.

Off to the right corner of my Image used to be a large sandbox that had a roof over it.  There also was a very tall sliding board that we had to climb up a long ladder to get up to the top.  It was so much fun to slide down that thing.  We would “wax” the sliding surface with wax paper to make us slide faster!  It’s now gone, but for what reason I don’t know.  Maybe because too many got hurt because it was a big one!  The sandbox is long gone and I think it was because all the “critters” would poop or pee in the sand.  Didn’t bother me!  I didn’t care.

The Swimming Pool has changed a bit also.  There are no longer a “High Dive or Low Dive” that we could run down and dive into the water on the deep end of the pool.  I think that this was taken away because of Insurance reasons.  I used to spend many, many sunny warm days here.  So much that I would get a Sun burn most every Summer.  At the very top corner of the Image used to be a small “Children’s Pool” that I learned to swim in.  It, too, is long gone.

I more than realize that the Image above does not mean that much to you, but to me, my “minds eye” can still picture what was once there and all the great times I had.

POP OUTS

A few weeks ago, I happen to be viewing a Post made by one of the people that I follow here on WordPress.  JourneyswithJohnbo is one of the Photographers on WP that I have been following for a number of months now.  He takes some really nice Images of places that I’ve never been too, and probably never will.  Anyway, in one of his Images, he had Posted an interesting Image that seem’d to “Pop Out” at you, thus creating a different look.  This gave me some interest, so I asked him just how that is done.  He told me and with that, I went on my own to try this new type of thing for myself.

I had to do some research on it to find out just how this is done.  Found out that you can do this effect using Photoshop CC.  Since I do have that program, I went further.  Found that I could down-load instructions for this on Photoshop Essentials.  I did this and then with much eagerness started trying to give one of my Images the same effect.

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Now, using the instructions that were given me, I followed them step by step until the end.  It didn’t come out right!  I did something wrong!  What was it?  I went back and tried again.  It still didn’t come out right!  What the heck am I doing wrong, I thought.  So, I had to let it sit for awhile so I could think about it.  So, to make a long story shorter, I kept trying until I finally figured out what was wrong.  It took me awhile!  The above Image is my first one done the way I had wanted.  The Image seem’s to “Pop Out” from the rest of the shot.  It is of the building that General George Washington’s Officers stayed in during the Winter of 1777 at Valley Forge, PA.

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Well now, here is another one that is an oldie but goodie.  It’s an abandoned home in Shenandoah, PA.  I wanted to make the Main Home “Pop Out” from the rest of the Image.  I sorta messed up the very bottom of the Image, because this is only the 2nd time I’ve done this.  In the future, I’m going to try other Images I have and see how they come out.  I’ll also try and make them bigger.

UNDERWEAR FACTORIES

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It seems that most everyday so far that I have gone “out there” the weather in my area is just terrible!  It’s always been cloudy and on the cold side.  Getting tired of this stuff.  Where is the Sun?

Anyway.

Another thing about my Historical area are the old Underwear Factories that were once a big part of the employment scene.  This above Image is of just one of many that are still here, but only the building remains.  This was the Robert Miller Underware Mill that is located in a small town, on the Main Street, named Shoemakersville, PA.  It’s not far from me and I’ve driven past this building many times in the past & present.  Always wondered what is was.  My research on this tells me Underware was made here in the 1940’s until it closed for a reason that I can’t seem to find out.  The name still is visable on the top left of the building.  Now, it’s apartments to live in.

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This is just one of the many Knitting Machines that were here back then.  Not my Image.

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These are what is known as a “bobbin” of thread that the knitting machine used to knit the Underware.  Thread traveled thru & around the spinning machine at a high rate of speed, thus needing costant attention.  I don’t know much about the process, but I’m assuming that it was a very envolved process until the product was finished.

Like I stated before, there are a few of these left over in my area, but most all of them have been converted over to apartments or shopping stores that sell cloths of one kind or another.  There is one left that is huge and I’ll Post about that one in my next Post.

GLITTER PENS

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Hello there to my Followers.  Hope everyone is doing well.

During these long Winter months, I spend some of my time doing coloring with Glitter Pens.  I happen to notice these Pens on Amazon that would color, but with an added extra to them.  They color with a bit of Glitter to them.

I’ve been looking all over the Internet for Coloring pages that you can down-load for free, print them out, and use them to color with.  There is so, so much out there!  I tend to go for pages that are Nautical, Flowers, Owls, or something else that may get my attention.  It is said that doing coloring is very relaxing to do, but not sure of that so far.  I ordered a pack of these Pens that have over 100 different colors to use.  All you have to have is a knowledge of color and what color goes with what.  Or you can just color what looks nice to you.  I like bright colors!

The above page is an anchor that I’m coloring right now.  It takes time to do this, but I work on it here and there.  No hurry if you want it to be right.

So, if you need something fun to do, give this a try.  Sorry, the Image is a bit blurry.

I CAN SEE YOU!

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For a long time now, I’ve been wanting to replace my old, aging, spotting scope that I’ve had for a long time.  It has long been not very good anymore.  The Lens & Optics are very blurred and it just does not want to focus well anymore.  It was a second hand scope that I bought years ago.  I’m saying that it has gone to better day’s.  It is no longer of use to me.

I’ve been looking around for a good one that has good, clear optics and a large viewing Lens.  I found out that Spotting Scopes have changed over the years.  They can get very expensive depending on what you buy.  I didn’t want a real expensive one, but not a cheap one either.  There are Scopes on the market for over $2000.00!  Don’t need something that expensive.  Most of the time you will get what you pay for.

So, after snooping around for a few day’s, I decided on this Gorski 20x80x80.  It has a primary Lens of 80mm, a Lens cover front and back, waterproof, and coated optics for clear viewing.  Has a Lens shade up front to shadow the sun if it’s too bright.  You can also install a Filter, but I don’t think I’ll go that far for now.

It came with a Tripod Stand that is kinda cheap looking and does not seem to be too durable.  It also has a attachment you can put on the back viewing eyepiece to install your Cell Phone and take a picture with it!  Have not tried it out yet.

For now, I’m going to get some use out of this as soon as the weather get’s much better and warmer.  I’m pretty sure that this will last for a long time.

EMPTY

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Had nothing else to do after getting a haircut, so I thought I’d stop by the now empty Fairgrounds Mall just to see what’s there now.

The Fairgrounds Square Mall was built in 1980 by the F&S Construction Co. on the former site of the Reading Fairground Speedway.  The Mall did a real good business for a number of years.  There were over 84 Stores in here.  During the Christmas Season this place was packed with shoppers all getting gifts for the Holiday Season.  During the other months it did well also.  On a Friday & Saturday nite lot’s of the younger generation would tend to “hang out in here” cause there was not much else to do.  Then, as the years passed by, the business started to decline slowly.  Stores started to close and board up their Fronts.  I noticed this when I would go shopping here.  There first to close were the food places, then more & more stores followed along.  I never knew why this place failed, until finding out later on.

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Here is a look at one of the Main Entrances to the Mall.  Still very colorful, but there is no one that shops here anymore.  It’s empty of stores, except a few that are still hanging in there hoping business will get better, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.

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Empty jewelry stands are void of merchandise to sell.  No shoppers here anymore.

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Empty floors & store fronts.

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I remember seeing this Pretzel place with lines of people waiting to order.  Not now anymore.

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It’s quiet here now.  Nothing except the occasional “Mall Walker” in a big empty area.

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A empty display case that once held some pretty jewelry to sell, now waits to be dismantled.

Why did this Mall fail, you might ask?  I found out that the Owner of the Mall complex started to default on taxes and morgage payments.  Then just let the place go down-hill.  Also the younger generation would hang out here and not buy much of anything.  The stores were loosing money slowly.  There were a number of roof repairs that had to be made, because of rain leaking in and leaving a pool of water on the floors.  All that cost money which the Owners were not ready for.  On top of all that, buying products “on-line” helped the problem.  Shoppers could get what they wanted at a better price.  It didn’t help the matter.

This Mall was built over the once famous Reading Speedway Racetrack.  Friday & Saturday nights were a big race time when Sprint cars, Modified cars, and Stock Cars would race the clay & mud track here.  The Reading Fair in September was a big thing also.  It was huge!  I remember going to the Fair in HS and we always had a great time with all the rides.  Now, all that is long gone to History which is a shame.  Time marches on

REMEMBER THESE?

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Hello there to all my Followers.  Do some of you remember this?  Maybe some of you don’t.  This is the Historic Wurlitzer Juke Box that was built in the 1940’s.  I can’t remember who designed the original ones like this, but most of it was made of glass because the plastic was not very available during the War years.

It had a distinctive color pattern that was bright and cheerful.  It also had the world famous bubbles that traveled around on the inside of the glass.  This player would play songs from the Rock & Roll years of the 50’s & 60’s.  1 play was a nickel, and 6 plays were a quarter!  Dancing to your favorite songs was a common thing back in my day.

Most of the songs that were on the Top Record Charts were here to play.  Artists such as Bill Hayley & The Comets, Elvis, Jimmy Dean, Roy Oberson,  Little Richard, were all there.  Drop a nickel in the machine, press the letter & number of the song, and it would play your choice in order that it was received.  “Put another Dime in the Jukebox” and the music would never stop.

I remember these Players well.  I’m sorry to see that they have gone into History, but some of them are still around.  The original ones are few and far between.  Collectors have them.  If you want an original player you will pay a hefty price!

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As time went by, the Wurlitzer Company made a newer model, like the one shown above.  It worked the same as the older one, but with no bubbles and the price to play went up, of course.  I think this one was 1 play for a dime, and 4 plays for a quarter.  Not sure on that one.  Both players had great sound for it’s day.

GREAT HORNED OWL

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Isn’t this Great Horned Owl pretty with all the different colors they have?

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This is my rendition using Color Gel Pens of the Great Horned Owl.  It took me weeks to color this.  Tried to match the color of the real thing, but it’s tough to do.  The real Owl is much prettier.

CELLPIX SUNDAY

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Going to give this “Cellpix Sunday” thing a try.  I will Post 1 image that I took with my Cell Phone every Sunday, if I remember!  Here is my 1st Entry.  Taken in our 1st Port of Call in the Bahamas aboard the Carnival Ship Pride.  Sorry about the spots.

MY BUCKET LIST

Thank you for following & reading.

As most of you out there know by now, I love to snoop around & visit Historical places that are around me or a small drive away.  However, this coming Spring, Summer, & Fall I’m going to go places that are more than a short drive away.  This is my Bucket List.  Places I want to visit & photograph, I hope.

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ANTIETAM NATIONAL BATTLEFIELD PARK.

Located just outside Sharpsburg, MD is a Civil War Battlefield where there was once a horrendous fight between the Army of the Potomac & the Army of Northern Virginia.  Here on the morning of Sept 17th, 1862 at what is called “The Sunken Road” was a fight that ended up being ” the single bloodist day in American History.”  In just one day, more than 23,000 Union & Confederate Troops were killed in fighting!  One Union Soldier was quoted to say “The Killing, Carnage, & Blood here was appuling.”  “You could almost walk the blood soaked ground without touching it!”  “Bodies of both Confederate & Union were piled 2 and 3 high!”

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GETTSYBURG, PA

Located about a 4hr. drive from here is where one of the most decisive battles of the Civil War was fought between the Armies of Northern Virginia & the Army of the Potomac.  It started on July 1st, 1863 and lasted thru July 2nd & 3rd.  This terrible fight was the turning point of the Civil War.  Places such as “The Peach Orchard, The Wheatfield, Devil’s Den, & others will be a focol point for my whole day visit.

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FREDRICKSBURG, VA

Another huge fight here between the Army’s that cost so many thousands of Lives.  Each Army fighting for a cause in which they all believed in.  Pictured above is “The Stone Wall” where the Confederate’s turned back the Union Army 3 times.  The Confederate Army was behind the Stone Wall with the Union approaching from the right in the Image.  The Confederate’s had the high ground shooting down on the Union Army as they attacked the position.  Again, the loss of Life here on this spot was terrible.  Thousands of Union & Confederate dead.  I plan on spending another full day or more here.

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This is what the “Sunken Road” at Antietam looked like now & then.

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The “Dunker Church” at Antietam Battlefield, which is still there to this day.

My trips to these places will be done over time.  I can’t visit all of them in just 1 day.  It will take time to do.  I want to slowly walk around, take lot’s of Images, and try to feel what happened at these places of History.

THIS IS MILEY

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Hello there to all my Followers.  This Post is going to be different than what I usually Post about.  Would like to tell you more about what goes on here sometimes.  This is about Miley.  She is a Pug/Jack Russel Terrier Mix.  She belongs to my Wife’s Son, Galen.  When he goes away for a few day’s on a trip, we get to watch over Miley.  She is such a great doggie to have around.

When Miley was much younger, she was a heck of a playfull dog.  She just loved to chase a ball of most any kind.  Would chase after the ball, and bring it back to you wanting more!  She really would wear herself out, but always came back again, and again.  She wanted to chase after squirrels in the yard, but I think they were way to fast for her.  I’m sure she’d try!  Miley is a very loving doggie.  She loved to play a “Tussle Game” where she pulls on one end of a toy, and you pull on the other.  She is quite strong for a medium size doggie.  She has sharp teeth, and can destroy a toy in minutes!  She has never, ever snapped at anyone.  If she is annoyed by something, she will just growl a bit and walk away.  You got to know when she does not want to be bothered.  Loves to be petted and have her back scratched.  She also can do things that you just have to laugh at.

Miley was a “rescued dog” from the SPCA here in Reading.  Galen got her at a younger age, and has had Miley ever since then.  Miley was so full of energy that it was hard to keep up with her.  We were told that Jack Russel Terriers are like that.  They don’t sit around much.  Are always ready for a run anywhere.

Now, age is slowly catching up with her.  She’s about 13 yrs. old now.  She also has another problem.  She is now totally blind and can’t see a thing.  Allot of money was spent on her to save her sight, but it just could not be saved.  She slowly lost her sight over time.

But, even though Miley is blind she still get’s around quite well.  I think that her nose & ears have taken over for her sight.  She smells everything and smells where she goes.  This way she can tell where she has been.  She also know’s our scent.  She follows along with us most all the time.  She still bumps into allot of stuff, but get’s to know what it was after a short time.  She can still play “fetch”, but must smell the ball first.  Throw the ball close by, and she will find it!

We enjoy having her around.  When she is taken out to “do her business” she smells her scent from before and knows where to go.

When Miley is gone, she will be sadly missed by everyone.  Her memory will last for a long, long time.  I know, that I will be one of them.

WASTE LAND

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This is a place that I have played in a long time ago.  There is nothing here, except Coal Dirt that was placed here long ago from a dredging operation from the river.  What they scooped out of the river was dumped here.

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The ole’ place has changed somewhat over the passing years.  When I played here, there were no ponds such as this one.  Years of snow & rain have created a depression for the water to lay in, thus creating a Wildlife area for ducks and waterfowl.

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No Wildlife here, yet.  Nothing.  However, there is beauty in nothing.

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The area has become a walking, bicycle, running, and a place just to observe what little Nature has to offer.  This whole area will soon be declared a Wildlife Sanctuary.

As in all my Posts, they are Grammerly correct.  Also, my Images are the sole property of me.  Want one?  Ask first.

THEY ARE HERE!

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Every year when it get’s close to Spring, the Snow Geese arrive at the Middle Creek Wildlife Sanctuary on their stop over to rest & eat.  There are really thousands of them to see with more & more arriving each day.  The Game Commission of PA says’s that the count is over 170,000!

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This sight of Nature is truly a sight to see.  Thousands of Geese all taking flight at the same time!  The roar of their wings, plus the talking to each other, is a definite thing to behold.

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Photographers and all Nature lovers come from miles around to see these Geese in their natural habitat.  The Game Commission Officers that are in the area, have to turn people away because the parking and car congestion get’s way too full to handle.  The Geese always stop here every year.  I venture to say that the food supply for them is enough because they stay here for a number of weeks before taking flight further North.  The droppings from the Geese help fertilize the ground for other wildlife.

Most all the time, the Geese always stay in a “Restricted Area” where no one is allowed to be in.  Very stiff fine’s are, and will be, enforced on those who don’t obey the signs posted.  A $1000.00 fine will be levied against you.  Most people adhere to the rules, but there are some who just want to ignore what they are told.  If they are caught, hell is to pay!  Some people think that it’s fun to chase the Geese, just to see what happens.  They find out!  It’s as simple as this.  Don’t chase the Geese!  Leave them alone.

Some of the Geese choose to rest outside the Restricted Area.  They just sit there and don’t seem to fear the human presence, for some reason.  You can get quite close, but only so far.  Then they just get up and waddle away.

I took these Images with my Pentax K10d using an 80-300mm Lens.

NEW LENS

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Hello to all my followers.  I’m still here and I know I have not Posted anything in awhile, but there is not much going on right now, except this.

One of the Lens’s that I don’t have is a Wide Angle Lens.  Decided to snoop around a bit and see what’s available out there.  After looking around in my favorite place to order stuff, I found this Rokinon Wide Angle 14mm f/2.8 Lens for a very decent price.  I read a number of reviews about it and found that most all of them were good.  There were a few bad one’s, but the ratio between bad and good was not bad.  Seems you can’t please everyone.  So, I decided to order this for my Pentax.

It came in the mail yesterday.  I was more than anxious to attach it to my camera to see how it looks and feels.  It’s great, so far!  Nice clear glass and no problem attaching it to the Pentax K10d.  I did notice that it is a bit on the heavy side, but I’d rather have that.  Cuts down on shake.  The other small problem is that the weather here has been just plain terrible.  Cloudy, windy, wet, and nasty for the past few days.  This does not give me much chance to take it out for a test run to see how well it works.  I’m hoping to “get out there” very soon.  This Lens should complete my collection for a long time to come.

There is one more thing.  The Lens Cover for it fit’s over the whole front of the Lens.  This is different than my other Lens’s.  All my other Lens’s have a spring loaded “cap” that just fit’s over the Glass.  Not this one.  I like the difference.  Covers the whole Lens and not just the glass.

LIGHT BOX PHOTO’S

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Taken from my Model Collection, the 1967 Ford GT500

It took me 3 different times to photograph this Model.  Each time I did this, a terrible “yellow” tint was in the background.  I hated this.  Could not get rid of it, until I found out that you can set your camera for different types of Light.  I didn’t know that.  So, I checked it out on what I was told.  I was using my home made “light box” for the Image and also was using normal lighting from 2 different lamps that I had around the house.  The Lamps work good, but have a bad problem showing a “yellow” tint from the Tungston lightbulb.  This is where that horrid yellow comes from.

After checking on how to change White Balance on my Nikon, I set it to a brighter balance.  Then on my 4th try, this is what the camera showed.  No more yellow tint.  I, of course, did some small enhancement with Lightroom CC, but it was not much.  There is also something else.  Don’t forget to change your camera back to the original settings, or you’ll be reminded quickly.

MY PAST

Hello to all my Followers.  Remember in my last Post that I stated I would be making Posts about my Personnel side and my Life thru 70 yrs.?  Well, I’m gonna start here with this Post.  We will go way back in time to 1964.

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Ok.  Here we go.  The year is 1964.  That’s me with my Date for a High School Dance that I had asked her to go to with me.  She accepted.  Back in those day’s the telephone was the only way that you could call and ask a girl to go out with you.  No Cell phones or texting existed.  Her name is Carol.  We are both around the same age.  She is one year younger than me.  We both were Sophmores HS.   I had met her while on my Paper Route.  Her Parents were one of my customers for the Reading Times.  I used to have to go to her house and collect money for the paper every week.  Before I went to pick her up my Mother made sure that I was dressed properly, down to the Flower on my dress jacket.  Carol was wearing a Red Symbitium on her left wrist. (Not shown).  Her Father is the one who shot this Image of us together.

Me & Carol dated about 3 times, going to movies, dances, and 1 Hayride while both of us were going to Fleetwood High School.  Then after High School we both sorta drifted apart.  She went on to Collage, while I joined the US Navy to see the world.  I lost track of where she was or what she was doing over the passing years.  Coming Home from Vietnam I went to find out where she was, but I didn’t find out till later on in 1970 that she had married in 1969, and took on another last name.  That ended my quest to get in touch with her.  I was quite saddened.

For some reason that I can’t fully explain, this girl made a big impression on me.  I really did like her.  I never did go after her, which maybe I should have done.  I think that this girl was the one “that got away.”  To this day, I still think of her.  I talk with her once in awhile on the phone to see how she’s doing, but not allot.  Her memory still is in my Mind.  Places we went, things we did, and how our Lives had gone seperate way’s.  I wonder what would have happened if we married?  Would it have lasted?  I don’t know.  I do have a picture of what she is today and she looks pretty much as she does then, just older.  She has 2 kids now, and has been married to the same fella for all these years.

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Here is Carol, as of last year.  She has a 1 or 2 Degrees in Music.  Was a Music teacher at Owen J. Roberts High School.  She always did love music.  She always will.  I still do have feelings for her!  She never will leave my memory.

I can look at that Image and remember how scared I was.  I was fearful of her Father and what he might say.  He was a rather “gruff” sorta man.  I was told my Mom to “mind your manners” like she had taught me so well.  I did what I was told.  Maybe that’s why I’m still good friends with her to this day.

GREAT CARS OF THE 50’S.

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I know.  I have not Posted anything for a few weeks.  It’s that time of the year again when it’s just too cold to out there “snooping around” with my camera’s for something to Post about.  This seems to happen every year like this.  So, I thought that I’d start Posting on things that are more personal in my Life of 70 years.  There has been allot that I can reflect back on.  I’m hoping that the Followers that I still have will stay with me.

So, when the weather outside is just too cold, I do like to use my home made “Light Box.”  It’s very simple to make.  Just get a medium-size cardboard box and cut out the sides and top, leaving about an inch around the opening.  This way you have room for light fixtures to give the subject good lighting.  I use 2 Light fixtures on either side of the box.  Get some Poster paper that is the size of the inside of your Light Box.  They come in a variety of colors for you to use.  The Model car above is an example.  Shot with a Nikon D7000 using a White background.  ISO 200, f/14, AP Mode, Tripod Mounted.

This Model is an exact 1:18 scale of the 1959 Pink Cadillac Eldorado.  This Classic Car is just one of the collection that I have.  Built on the Fleetwood Body that started way back in the early 1900’s, the factory was in the town that I grew up in  .  .  .  Fleetwood, PA  The Pink Cadallic and others with different colors were known for their “plush velvet seats”, and the distinctive “tear drop rear lights”.  The Pink Cadillac was the most popular.  Bruce Springsteen’s “Pink Cadillac” is what that song is all about.

HISTORICAL PLAQUE

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A few Posts back I had tried to show what is left over from the Boat Docking area in the Union Canal.  This is a Historical plaque showing what once was.

I have been reading that I should keep my Posts short & not too long.  It say’s that most Bloggers don’t care for long winded Posts.  I will try and do so in the future.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!

1957 FORD SKYLINER

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Some of you may recall that I do have a small collection of 1:18 scale models of Classic Cars of the 50’s & 60’s.  This is just one of them.

Built-in 1957 by the Ford Motor Company, the Ford Skyliner was one of the first cars that came out with a retractable roof that folded back into the trunk of the car.  By releasing 2 small clamps inside the passenger compartment, the owner could press a button and the roof would retract & fold into the truck.  It was a nice idea, but it ended up creating problems.

There were many troubles with the roof not folding back correctly, and the owner did not have any trunk space.  On top of this was the roof would leak water when it rained because it didn’t seal right.

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In 1958, Ford Motor Company came out with almost the same thing, but a slightly different style.  Named the 1958 Ford Fairlane Skyliner it stayed into production until 1959, when then it was discontinued.  The Car still remains as one of Fords Classic Cars.

COAL REGION CHURCH

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This is St. Stanislaus Kosca Catholic Church located in New Minersville, PA.  This Church was build a bit over 200 yrs. ago by the Polish Immigrants who settled in this area.  It has had this name for many years before the Churches in the area decided to consolidate into one.  Now, it is named St. Matthews Catholic Church.  Everything has remained the same, except the name.  A number of years ago, I had the privilege of being able to see the inside of this beautiful church.  I see that not much has changed.  It’s still one pretty Church to see.

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Here is a closer shot of the Alter.  The 2 people shown are a young couple that my Wife knows.  I have no idea who they are.  The Alter is carved from Marble and the Statues are all hand made and painted.  My Wife tells me that under the Alter where the Sacraments are kept are all made of Gold.

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Here is the Manger Scene that is put in the one corner of the Church.  If I offend someone by posting this Image, I don’t really care.  Each figure is hand made and painted!

Since my Wife was born and raised in New Minersville she lived just down the street from this Church.  She attended Services here for just about 20 yrs.

If you all can remember, I have made a number of Posts about the Coal Region Area that is not far from here.  There are many different Churchs & Religions that exist from one Coal Town to another.  This is because the Immigrants people that settled around here to work in the Coal Mines, brought their Religion with them.  Most of them are Catholic, but there are others such as German, Polish, French, Lutheran, and Lithuanian.  In just one Town there can be as many as 5 different Churches.

Notice that there is no “watermark” on the Images.  This is because I did not take these pictures, so I can’t claim them as mine.

 

RETURN TO THE UNION CANAL

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The weather today was not too bad, so I decided to take my Nikon P600 out for a stroll and see what was new at the Union Canal.  It was on the cold side, but still not anywhere near freezing like it had been.  Here I tried to capture the “bleakness” of Nature during the Winter months.  Everything is bland with no color at all.

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Here is what used to be a Towpath used for the Mules/Horse’s that pulled the Canal boats down the Canal.  Now, it is a walking/bicycle/hikeing Trail.  Of course, the trees were not there at that time.

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Here is what remains of the old Canal boat holding area.  Most of it is frozen over.  Long ago, I used to go swimming here, but not anymore.  Guess you can see why.  You can still see the retaining wall of stone on the left.  There are memories here for me that you can’t see.  At that time I had no swimming pool to go to, so we used to jump in here for some fun.  Nothing ever bothered us.  Now, I can only guess what’s in here.

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This is something new that has been added.  It was not here before.  It’s still part of a walking trail, but you can only go so far.  Why?  I’m kinda wondering if something was done that made the Historical Commission of Hamburg install this warning.  I can only guess.  I have heard that the “younger generation” has been around this area building fires, drinking, then leaving bottles, trash, and cans for others to pick up.  Not sure on that.  All the time, when I see this, I never venture further for fear of getting caught and getting a nasty fine.

 

GENTEL SNOW

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The weather forecasters were telling us that the expected snowfall was only supposed to be a coating to about a inch.  Nope!  Allot more than that!  We got more than 5 inches of the white stuff!  Guess they were a bit off on that one.  Made the area look so peaceful.

LIGHT SNOW

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2 day’s ago, it snowed just enough to give some color to the old Union Canal.

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On the old Union Canal Towpath, snow was starting to melt away in the morning sun.

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With the Watershed lake and sky’s turning blue a nice splatter of white.  Just enough.

AT&T NIGHTMARE!

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Almost 3 weeks ago, we had a Salesperson come to our door wanting to give us a sales pitch about AT&T.  Without going into a big speech about this, he told us that what we had a phone provider (Verizon), AT&T was just as good if not better!  He also told us that the price of their service is cheaper than Verizon!  If we switched over we would get a NEW phone, a Galaxy S8!  Humm  .  .  .  was a bit concerned about that one, because you NEVER get anything free.  You’ll pay for it somewhere down the line in your bill.

So, after some discussion, we decided to take his offer and change over.  We did get a Samsung S8 Cell Phone, but we found out when the bill came that it was NOT FREE, as I suspected!

Ever since we’ve done this, we have had nothing but problems with our phones!  Our friends have told us that they call and can’t get an answer.  Service does not seem to work as good as he told us!  Phones go dead, at times!  I hate this.  What did we do?

I’ve contacted the Salesperson via Cell Phone and left a message on what is going on.  So far, we have not gotten a return call!  Where is this guy?  I even called AT&T Support and the Lady told me I should get in touch with the Salesperson and he should be able to repair what is wrong.  OK, I’m doing that, but no luck so far.

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This is what the Samsung S8 phone looks like.  It’s nice and does a whole lot of stuff.  More than what I’d need.  It’s not cheap, either.  About $843.00 worth of phone!  That’s a lot of money!  So, with all that, if we don’t hear from this Salesperson in the next 48 hrs. we’re going to look into changing back to Verizon!  I suspect that this might cause more problems, but I hope not!

HAVE A NICE THANKSGIVING, ALL!

COMPUTER MONITOR

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About 4 months ago, I had bought this computer monitor from my Brother at a “side walk sale” for $20.00.  He had used it for awhile but then decided to get rid of it because he got something newer.  I decided to buy it from him!

This is a Flatron 24″ Full HD LG Monitor.  I originally had in mind to use this as a game monitor but found out it’s not for use with a Playstation 2 set up.  It just does not have the input for a Playstation, that I know of.  So, then I found out that I can use this Monitor with my Laptop and have a bigger screen to view.  But, first I have to get the right connections.  This I knew nothing about.

Starting asking questions on how to do this, and found out that I have to get a connector that plug’s into your Laptop (HDMI) to VGNA(?).  I went to my favorite place to order things and found what I needed, after searching for days.  I just was not sure on what to get and what was the best.

My order arrived in just a few days.  Hoping like heck that I ordered the right thing, I plugged it into my Laptop and then into the plug for this Flatron.  It worked!!  I could not believe it!  I did something right!

Now, I have 2 screens to view, but I don’t have to.  Found out that I can shut off the Laptop screen, and just use the Flatron Monitor like I’m doing right now.  The screen on the 24″ is much brighter, but a bit on the fuzzy side.  Not sure how to fix that yet.  It comes in handy for viewing my Images from the camera and editing them.  There is another small problem.  I can’t get sound to come out of the Flatron because the HDMI Cable does not transfer sound.  That’s ok.  Why would I want sound out of 2 screens?  I’ll just use one.

THE STORY BEHIND THIS IMAGE.

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If I must “toot my own horn” this Image that I took while in Nassau is one of my much better ones!  So, there is just a small story that goes along with this.

We had taken a Cruise aboard the Carnival Ship Pride and one of the Ports of Call was Nassau.  In route to the Port, we signed up for an excursion to one of the small islands that are nearby.  The one problem with doing is is that there are going to be lots of others that want to do the same thing.  Say, more than 50+ people.  When you sign up for these things, it’s like being in a herd of cattle.  Being told and moved along with everyone else.  I’m not much of a person that can take crowds of people for very long.  They tend to get to me, and I just want to get away from all of them and do my own thing.

After being herded on a boat, we were taken to this island that has a name, but I can’t remember it.  It was a simply beautiful area to be in.  Warm weather, crystal clear water, soft white sand, and plenty of area’s to swim and sit to get some sun.  I loved it!

After doing some swimming & snorkeling in the crystal water, we wanted to get something to eat & drink.  A sandwich & a beer would be fine for me.  We found that just down the beach was a small restaurant that had what we wanted.  We ordered some food and my beer, only to find out just how expensive it was!  Just for 2 hamburgers, french fries, a Coke, and 1 beer, our total bill was over $40.00!!  Say what!  That was allot of money just for that.  I was not happy!!  We didn’t go back!!

After eating we got up to dump our trash and walking over I noticed this area above.  The Image is exactly as I saw it, but without other people in the Image.  I thought this would make a good capture.  Sorta Wrong!  While composing the shot, some other people came in and sat down as you see it.  This sorta made me a bit angry!  Well, I shot the Image with them in the frame.  I just couldn’t walk over to them and ask them to leave while I composed the Image, could I?

If it’s one thing that I dislike in Photography, it’s when people get in the way of your Image!  I hate that!  So, there is not much I could do.

So, if you go on a trip to Nassau, remember that it is one very expensive place to be in.  Things are not cheap!  Guess it’s because this area is a Tourist trap and they know it.

Oh yes, this Post is Grammarly correct using Grammarly as a guide for what I do wrong.  It does help.

CHANGING SEASON

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Fall Color at Berks County Heritage Center.

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Just a few day’s ago, I was here at this same spot, and their was hardly any color at all!  Now, a few day’s later, Nature has taken over to show Her splendor.  It’s amazing how just a few day’s can make.

OLD CHURCH

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While taking a trip down to the Lebanon Valley VA Hospital to pick up my new Hearing Aids, I stopped by this Church that I have seen from the highway a number of times in the past.  This Church had always caught my eye because it seems to stand out from the surrounding area.

This is Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church located just outside Lebanon, PA.  It was built in 1762 and probably has gone thru a number of upgrades since then.  What I like about it is the color & stone work.

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The weather was not so good for shooting Images of this Church.  It was over-cast and splattering a bit of rain, but I thought to stop by while you’re in the area.

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This is what you see from the Highway.  On a bright sunny day, the Church has a much better view than when it’s cloudy, like today.

ABANDONDED PLACES

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There have been a number of times in my past Posts when I show the Coal Region area and what History is here.  When Coal Was King it left over lot’s of places that are barren and long forgotten.  This is just one of many.

A few miles outside the Coal Town of St. Clair is an area that has nothing there but empty waste lands where Coal used to be Mined long ago.  These places are called a “Strip Mine” where Coal was dug out of the ground and then left as it was.  Just a hole in the ground that has nothing to show but trees, coal clum, junk, and an area where people can do shooting without any regard to the Land around them.  There is nothing here.  No birds or wildlife at all!  Lot’s of practice shooting has taken place here.  Shotgun shells are strun all over the ground.  No one picks anything up to throw it away.  It’s just left there.

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Here is another look at the bottom of the Strip Mine.  That’s my Brother walking thru all the junk left laying around.  You can see in the distance, where the tree line is,  the end of the old Mine hole.

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This is just a small portion of the junk you can find laying around.  Computer keyboards, TV Monitors, furniture, old car tires, refrigerators, and just about everything else can be found.  People from the surrounding area come here to dispose of un-wanted items, dumped off, and left here to waste away.  Old cars are even here.  I would not be surprised if you would come across a dead body around here!  In past History there have been reports of people gone missing, never to be found.  You, if you know the right people, could have someone dissapear!!  This person would probably never be found for a long, long time.

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This is the wooded area above the Strip Mine.  A path leads to a un-known area that I don’t know what’s there.  Never see any deer or wildlife at all.  I think they know to stay away cause there is nothing to eat for them.

It’s truly a shame that there are so many area’s like this up here.  Coal was taken from the ground years ago and then the hole was just left here.  Strip Mining is NOT a good thing!  All it does, besides harvest Coal from the ground, is leave a scar on the land.  However, over the passing years, Strip Mines, have been filled in with new ground and trees planted to give new life to the area.  Let’s hope that will continue.