Friday, November 12, 2010

Strange, but true

It's simply too, too much for the blog to learn that Sarah Palin is also following Krugman. The blog is therefore taking a break, heading first to San Diego for the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting and then to Australia for its long-awaited walkabout.

Walkabout, noun
Australian. A temporary return to traditional Aboriginal life, taken especially between periods of work or residence in modern society and usually involving a period of travel through the bush.

A big day for Susan's Toyota

A rare sight

Jon's photo of a rainy night in Las Vegas.

New improved downtown signs

These are great! Now there are no excuses for being disoriented downtown.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The blog occasionally imagines itself living in downtown Winston

View from one of the "luxury condos" at One Park Vista, one of a set that will be auctioned off this coming Saturday.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Paul Krugman upsets the blog

From today's column in the New York Times:

This is going to be terrible. In fact, future historians will probably look back at the 2010 election as a catastrophe for America, one that condemned the nation to years of political chaos and economic weakness.

(Photograph of obelisk commemorating the Maine 4th at Devil's Den, Gettysburg, by Maurice:
11 killed, 59 wounded, and 74 missing.)

Sherwood Forest is aglow...

...with Halloween lights. From a walk in the gloaming earlier in the week.

October in Winston-Salem

Pumpkin-shaped doughnuts cooling on the line at the Krispy Kreme mother ship on Stratford Road.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Get on the bus

A view of Interstate 40 from the "Rally to Restore Sanity" bus, headed toward Jon Stewart's DC rally. The blog is very excited that a Winston-Salem pizza maker ended up on the bus (follow the related link in the article).

Monday, October 25, 2010

Not infringed

At the Las Vegas airport.

Jon went to Las Vegas...

...for the Live Design International conference and tradeshow, while Susan went to the National Science Foundation in Arlington. On the flight home Susan read an interesting article about Harry Reid in the New Yorker...possibly just at the same time Jon was taking photographs of what she was reading about: On the Strip, construction of one enormous new casino complex, the Echelon, abruptly stopped, leaving a very large vacant lot with the beginnings of a steel-girder skeleton rising from the ground. Another casino, the Fontainebleau, was halted at a later stage of construction; Carl Icahn recently bought it, for ten cents on the dollar, but has yet to resume building.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Stylin' at the River Birch Lodge

Nate and friends out on the town...outside the River Birch Lodge on Robinhood Road in Winston-Salem.

Midterm election approaching

Photographed in the parking lot outside of Lowe's supermarket on Robinhood Road, Sunday October 17. The blog always feels nervous photographing seems to the blog that the midterm election is only going to make everyone angrier than they already are, regardless of the outcome...

Inflatable gargoyle

Who doesn't love a good gargoyle? Halloween decorations are very popular in the Sherwood Forest neighborhood of Winston-Salem.

In a mist

Jon's photo of the Shaffner Park soccer fields on an October morning. Go ahead, listen to the incomparable Bix Beiderbecke play his composition of the same name, recorded September 8, 1927. The blog guarantees that your day will be improved if you do.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Summer in bottles

At the Dixie Classic Fair October 9, 2010.

Bee imagery pervades our society signs have been posted for about two weeks along Reynolda Road. The web site of this Pfafftown-based company is only somewhat informative. While the blog could make nerdy bee biology-based jokes about bee jobs, instead it will only express the hope that desperate job seekers don't get stung.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Things pretending to be obelisks

A last look back at Susan's September visit to Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. Beth and David Evans were exceptionally good hosts and possibly an even better "human obelisk."

Friday, October 8, 2010

American dream (buyers' market edition)

The blog managed to fit in one more walk, although the shorter days and the baseball play-offs make it hard to find the time. The moderately priced houses of Fiddler's Glen were built in 2005 and 2006. Despite the overall garage-centric style, this inoffensive development feels like a community. It is easy to imagine, in a couple of weeks, a high level of trick-or-treating. But home prices are falling here, and recent sales have dipped into the $130s. The Freddie Mac web site shows the foreclosure house on Trillium Lane in Fiddler's Glen available for $109,900. The blog thinks this is probably a great deal. Surprisingly, some spec houses are still under cosntruction...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Big cat

Jon spotted this big cat on his morning walk. If he walked in Susan's neighborhood, he could see her larger-than-life-size Roy Halliday on her lawn as she prepares for the Phillies post-season.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Is Jon's memory correct?

Maurice recently met Sergei Khruschev (son of Nikita) at a Georgetown event. Jon remembers being taken as a small boy by his mother, Maggie, to see Nikita's motorcade drive past. Is this a true memory or a false memory? A little bit of online research suggests that this event must have taken place in late September 1959. To jog Jon's and Maggie's memories the blog is helpfully including an Associate Press photo of Ike and Nikita together in 1959.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Stop Richard Burr

Jon is walking early in the morning and noting an increasing frequency of political yard signs. Is this particular combination, sighted during his walk, mere coincidence?

You know you're in North Carolina...

Submitted by Maurice.

373 wins, 188 losses, career era 2.13

Baseball great Christy Mathewson (1880 - 1925) lies surrounded by obelisks in the beautiful Lewisburg Cemetery. The right hander's career spanned 1900 - 1916; he pitched for the New York Giants and the Cincinnati Reds; he never pitched a game on a Sunday, which earned him the nickname "The Christian Gentleman." He won baseball's triple crown in 1905 and 1908, and pitched 79 shutouts. Although he never graduated from Bucknell (he left in 1899 to start his professional baseball career with Taunton of the New England League), today the Bucknell Bison play football in Christy Mathewson Memorial Stadium. His early death was a result of lung damage caused by exposure to poison gas while serving in the Army during WWI (in the same unit as Ty Cobb).

Obelisk nirvana

Many graves from the 1860s were marked by obelisks in the Lewisburg Cemetery adjacent to Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA. The cemetery was founded in 1848. A sad fad from the 1850s through the 1880s was the use of very small obelisks to mark the graves of small children.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Our lot

The blog found this lot in Greenbrier Farm appealing. And what does Zillow say? That it's not for sale, and that its value is $189,000.

Not too common in Winston-Salem...

Excess, yes, but garage-centrism, no. In Greenbrier Farm.

Monday, September 20, 2010


Is Maggie also right in North Carolina? (Seen in parking lot outside the Scales Fine Art Center at Wake Forest on Monday evening.)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Mysterious sign

Spotted by the blog on the way home from the football game last week at the corner of Reynolda and Polo Road. Gone during the week ("All signs removed SUN PM), but back in the same location today. The blog had to consult a dictionary to learn the meaning of relinquishment in this context. It wasn't easy, but finally another blog came to the rescue: "Remerchandising is a retailing term for “freshening up the store layout” to highlight seasonal or special items, rouse hapless shoppers out of their walking slumber, and, of course, encourage them to buy more. Relinquishment isn’t anything more cryptic than its standard meaning: the process of ceasing ownership. Their stuff gets transferred elsewhere."

Thursday, September 16, 2010


This little corner of Winston-Salem (just off the Bethania Road) seems frozen in time.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Distant relative

Is North Carolina Senator Richard Burr related to Aaron Burr? The answer is yes, but the family tree is tangled, just like this tree. Richard thinks that there are no direct descendants, and that he is a descendant of Burr's brother. Hard to remember that Burr was considered Vice Presidential in 2008, but also hard to remember that his senate seat was considered "at risk" in 2009 and even late this summer. In addition to leading in the polls, Burr is also leading in the Winston-Salem yard sign competition.

On the road to Bethania

The queen in question is presumably the consort of George III. A short but nice walk on a very pleasant September evening.

The New York Times gets it wrong OR an estela is not an obelisco

Times are tough in Mexico, and the mood seems to preclude a festive celebration of the Mexican Bicentennial. The blog was particularly saddened by this recent report in the NYT: Major commemorative public works projects, including the bicentennial monument itself, the Estela de Luz, a 30-story quartz obelisk in the capital, will not be completed in time for the big day. What? No obelisk? But as the photo above reveals, the situation is not as dire as it seems. The planned monument is definitely NOT an obelisk, so the loss is not as great as the blog feared. Jon provided a hopeful note by drawing upon his knowledge of American history and reminding Susan that the big obelisk in Washington DC also experienced significant construction delays.

Monday, September 13, 2010

An obelisk of one's own

This personal-size obelisk was spotted by the blog in a front yard in the Cleveland Park neighborhood of DC on Labor Day weekend. Nice obelisk, but it raises the question: does an obelisk require a function? Or can an obelisk just be?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Update from DC

Maurice is now officially the Washington, DC "stringer" for the blog. Despite the generally poor quality of his photographs, he is an astute observer, and his contributions are welcome. The blog thought that there might be an interesting story behind this No McMansions sign that Maurice sent to us...and indeed there is. The sign was posted by the Woodley Park Community Association. Here's the story, in their own words:

The house at the corner of Garfield Street and 29th Place, 2910 Garfield Street, was recently sold. The buyer was a developer, ZP 29th Place LLC, which represents a developer who has built other houses in Woodley Park in recent years. The developer wants to tear down the house and replace it with two much larger homes. DC zoning regulations prescribe minimum sizes for lots. In this zoning classification, the minimum is 5000 square feet. The lot of 2910 Garfield Street is 9946 square feet, so it would appear to be too small to accommodate two houses. However, the Zoning Administrator, who works for DCRA, has the authority to approve a "minor deviation" from this requirement. The Zoning Administrator granted such a deviation for this property in November 2009. No notice of the request to subdivide the lot or for a "minor deviation" was given to the neighbors or to ANC3C, nor were they notified the requests had been granted.

Zillow reveals that the house was built in 1957, and that it sold this past January for about $1.4 million.

On the way to Saturday's Wake Forest-Duke game

The blog cleverly parked at the Dixie Classic Fairgrounds and strolled over to the football stadium. There is a tunnel that allows fans to cross Deacon Boulevard safely. We saw murals of familiar scenes in progress on the walls of the tunnel: Wait Chapel, of course, and Reynolda Hall. Despite a steady heavy drizzle, the game was extremely entertaining - what else can one say of a college football game tied 35-35 at halftime?

Thursday, September 9, 2010


...for embassy. Only in DC. This phone-photo is Maurice's first contribution to the blog.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Frank Rich sometimes nails it

Susan waits all week for Frank Rich's column in the Sunday Times. She's sad when he takes a week off, and was concerned that he might be off celebrating Labor Day somewhere. But this past week Rich was even more eloquent than usual. Writing about the approach of September 11, he said:

Of all the pro forma passages in Obama’s speech, perhaps the most jarring was his entreaty that Iraq’s leaders “move forward with a sense of urgency to form an inclusive government that is just, representative and accountable.” He might as well have been talking about the poisonous political deadlock in Washington. At that moment, there was no escaping the tragic fact that instead of bringing American-style democracy and freedom to Iraq, the costly war we fought there has, if anything, brought the bitter taste of Iraq’s dysfunction to America.

Walk score update

Maggie: 71
Maurice (Abe): 63
Ken: 48
Jon: 42
Susan: 22

Looks as if Maurice has lost some ground with his recent move to DC. Blog readers who don't know their walk score can easily check it at

I don't care if I never get back

Labor Day at Nationals Park in DC, from the inside looking out. The blog walked there from Town Square Towers!

Friday, September 3, 2010

SECCA redux

The blog made its first visit to the renovated Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (on the grounds of the estate of Winston-Salem hosiery king James G. Hanes) this past Sunday to see a very interesting performance by the Alban Elved Dance Company. Prior to the performance Susan, Nate, and Jon strolled through the current exhibit, titled Look Again. There were several interesting pieces here. The most surprising was a wall of facial silhouettes, all produced by light shining on crumpled pieces of paper. (Look to the left of each piece to see the face.)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Goldilocks and the three...

"ONCE upon a time there were Three Bears, who lived together in a house of their own, in a wood. One of them was a Little, Small, Wee Bear; and one was a Middle-sized Bear, and the other was a Great, Huge Bear. They each had a pot for their porridge, a little pot for the Little, Small, Wee Bear, and a middle-sized pot for the Middle Bear, and a great pot for the Great, Huge Bear. And they each had a chair to sit in; a little chair for the Little, Small, Wee Bear; and a middle-sized chair for the Middle Bear; and a great chair for the Great, Huge Bear. And they each had a bed to sleep in; a little bed for the Little, Small, Wee Bear; and a middle-sized bed for the Middle Bear; and a great bed for the Great, Huge Bear. And they each had an air conditioner to keep their own part of the house cool; a little air conditioner for the Little, Small, Wee Bear; and a middle-sized air conditioner for the Middle Bear; and a great air conditioner for the Great, Huge Bear."

The blog's apologies to

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The bees are back!

The Speas bees, of course. The blog is happy that a local elementary school is enthusiastically embracing its traditional mascot. The "mess" referred to is unfinished construction.