Saturday, July 09, 2005

Poles & Lines

I love the beauty of a uncluttered urban skyline. This photo is of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Parking Garage Gate. The photo looks west down Madison, from the corner of Madison, and Sixth Street.

In the first photo I edited out the utility poles, and power lines. I also include the unedited photo for comparison.

Image hosted by

Why I hate utility poles? One example below.

Image hosted by

Millions of dollars have already been spent remaking downtown Springfield, Illinois. Millions more will be spent in the coming years. Despite these efforts, the overlooming utilty poles, hanging about, always remind us that Springfield has a long way to go.

Union Station Forever

Springfield Illinois' Abraham Lincoln Presidential LIbrary, and Museum is still very much under construction. Just across the street from the museum on Sixth Street can be found Union Park, and Union Station.

Union Station, located on Madison Street, between Fifth, and Sixth Streets, right across the street from the ALPLM Parking Garage!

Union Station is undergoing a twelve million dollar makeover! When refurbished, the station will become the visitor's center for the ALPLM complex.

I've included some photo below of the construction currently taking place. I also include an image of the Great Seal, which suggest that Union Station's design may have been influenced by Masons.

One thing is for sure, those modern windows must go - hideous!

The history of the building is interesting, and I'll post more on it later.

Image hosted by

Image hosted by

Image hosted by

Image hosted by

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Fourth Celebrated in Downtown Springfield

Like most cities of Springfield, Illinois size there are official activities celebrating July 4th.

The "official" July 4th fireworks display is presented at the front of the Illinois State Capitol building, located at Second, and Capitol street.

The display always attracts thousands of patriotic citizens. Our family has made attending the display an annual tradition.

I recorded some great videos, but unfortunately I won't be able to post those to this blog.

This year I followed my wife's advice, which was to park closer! We paid for this decision at the end of the show - having to wait a good fifteen to twenty minutes in the car as we tried to get out of the parking lot.

Never again, I say! We'll park farther away next year.

Shocking, but true, this year's display actually started at Nine! It has always started a little late in the past - between, fifteen, and twenty minutes late. Perhaps those in charge were trying to launch the display ahead of an approching storm front. I witnessed groups of people racing into the area as the show was beginning.

I snapped many photos, but I'll post just a few. For fun I've posted each firework photo with another "similar" photo stolen from various images off the web.

In the first set of photos I present an incredible image taken by the Hubbell Space Telescope. The photo is part the Deep Space series on ancient, and very distant galaxies.

The galaxies are imaged from just one incredibly tiny spot in the sky, yet each galaxy is immensely huge, and the space between them even larger. I bring up for comparison one of my paltry firework photos from July 4th.

Image hosted by

Image hosted by

A Set of Sprites! Sprites are amazing natural phenomena created at the upper edges of the atmosphere by lightening storms (only recently discovered). I took the second photo from this year's July 4th celebration.

Image hosted by

Image hosted by

The next photo is of the Horse Head Nebula in Orion, along with my own firework version just below it.

Image hosted by

Image hosted by

This last set is somewhat racey - well, if you were a Bee. Sperm (a Bee's), and my imaginative firework analogy.

Image hosted by

Image hosted by

No doubt about it, I love July 4th!

I do wish roman candles, firecrackers, bottle rockets, etc., were easier, and more legally obtained. Something missing in this "perfect" world.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Jerome's July 4th, 2005 Parade

This post is a works in progress - I'm posting what I have now, and will finish up over the next few days.

A little hokey? A little too down home?

Maybe, but I like Jerome's annual 4th of July Parade.

I've noticed over the years that more, and more groups have found their place in the procession. There's just something to be said about a small town 4th of July Parade.
It's hard to describe, sort of like going back in time - to a kinder, and gentler era. One where everyone knew their neighbors, and looked out for them.

The odd thing is that Jerome is completely surrounded by a much larger community - Springfield. So perhaps it's all an illusion - but's it's also possible, that it's what we, who live in Jerome, make of it.

The following series of photos were taken at the corner of Alberta Lane, and Filmore.
The parade commenced Saturday, July 2nd, 9:00 a.m., at the Village Hall, which is located at 2901 Leonard Street.

In the lead is Jerome's Finest!

Image hosted by

Patriotic Bicycles (I've prepared many a bicycle for my own child)

Image hosted by

Grand Marshall (I blanked out their names. Residents 56 Years!)

Image hosted by

Babies on Parade!

Image hosted by

Springfield, Illinois' Fire Truck - Thanks SFD, For All You Do!

Image hosted by

Hey, Wait! Who let this clown behind the wheel? Oh, it's alright, the monkey's driving! What would a parade be without the Shriners?

Image hosted by

Some Proud Veterans Bearing Our Nation's Colors!

Image hosted by

Wait! Aren't these guys a little young to have fought in the Civil War?

Image hosted by

The Ansar Arab Patrol Are Always A Blast!

Image hosted by

Great Care, Great Respect, The VFW Color Guard.

Image hosted by

Doing the Polka is a July 4th Tradition in Jerome!

Image hosted by

More to Come!

A Fourth of July Blast!

Now this is a 4th of July Blast!

I'm including several photos taken from JPL's, and NASA's websites. I include my own comments, and official captions, and credits.

The following image was taken from the surviving Deep Impact spacecraft. It shows the immediate result of the Impactor probe's high velocity encounter with comet Tempel 1. The comet is half the size of Manhattan Island, while the Impactor probe is only the size of a washing machine. Due to the velocities involved, (i.e.,
23,000 mph), the explosion generated at impact was the equivalent to five tons of TNT.

Enough to create quite a show!

Image hosted by

NASA Caption: This image (ab0ve) shows the initial ejecta that resulted when NASA's Deep Impact probe collided with comet Tempel 1 at 10:52 p.m. Pacific time, July 3 (1:52 a.m. Eastern time, July 4). It was taken by the spacecraft's high-resolution camera 13 seconds after impact. The image has been digitally processed to better show the comet's nucleus.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UMD

This next image (below) seems straight out of a science fiction movie!

Image hosted by

NASA Caption: This image (above) from NASA TV is a view from Deep Impact's flyby showing the impactor colliding with comet Tempel 1.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UMD


The next image (below) is from Impactor moments before it slammed into Tempel 1. I love how this image makes, in my mind anyway, a very real thing-place out of what has been something previously only imagined, or seen in science fiction movies.

Image hosted by

NASA Caption: This image (above) from NASA TV shows shows one of the last images from Deep Impact's impactor before collision with comet Tempel 1.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UMD.

In the photo (below) we see how the apparent brightness of the comet has increased (temporarily) due to the ejecta thrown off from the impact. I like this series of images as it shows the effect of what we did in space can be seen all the way back here on Earth.

Image hosted by

Official Caption: This is a series of images (below) taken at the CFHT (Canada France Hawaii Telescope) equiped with the Megacam camera, pre- and post-impact. The images are 10s exposure time and were taken through the r filter. North is up, East is left. The field of view is about 11 x 11 arcmin, which corresponds to about 430,000 km at the comet. The increase of brightness after impact (which occurred at 05:52:24 UT as seen from Earth) is obvious on the second and third images.

Credit: J. Pittichova, Y. Fernandez, K. Meech (Institute for Astronomy, Hawaii), R. Cabanac, M.B. Laychak and P. Martin (CFHT).

Some may question our priorities, that is, spending money on the space program when there are so many problems here on Earth. Let me say, I believe every dollar spent on this mission was worth it. This mission shows that we can send a craft to a comet. One day, the whole of humanity may depend on our ability to nudge a comet out of a collision course with Earth. In fact it's just a matter of time.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Urgent Care's Condition Upgraded!

Image hosted by
Photo: Urgent Care - Macarthur Blvd - Springfield, IL July 2005 (before demolition)

The Springfield Urgent Care, currently located at 1836 S. Macarthur Blvd., is yet another facility slated for the wrecking ball. A recent posting on the Walgreen's just down the road from Urgent Care sparked some interesting responses.

Several comments regarding the soon to be demolished building that currently houses Walgreen's at the corner of Ash & Macarthur were posted. Those comments helped to spur the creation of a new blog titled Look Back Springfield. Look Back Springfield is dedicated to the posting of Springfield's history. Anyone, and everyone is invited to participate!

I doubt that many comments will be made regarding the small building that currently houses the Springfield Urgent Care. I see the move as a great improvement. The current facility is cramped, and dingy. The new building, which is located just south of the existing facility, appears to be a significant improvement to South Macarthur Blvd, and to Springfield, Illinois.

Image hosted by
Photo: New Facility Will Be Called Priority Care - Springfield, Illinois - July 2005


I've located Joseph E. Duncan III's Blog.

Duncan is the individual accused of kidnapping Shasta Groene (see my blog posting immediately prior to this one), and possibly will be charged in the killings of Groene's two brothers, her mother, and step father.

His final posting's make it clear he is close to the breaking point - shortly before the killings. He hints at other crimes as well:

Friday, May 13, 2005
Still Confused

My blog entries lately are erratic and full of a lot of B.S., for that I apologize. I am just trying to put down what is in my head, regardless. As far as "taking people with me" well, I don't know if that is right or wrong. In fact, I don't know much any more what right and wrong even is. My view is either everything is right (in some regard) or everything is wrong (in some other regard). The question (one I am struggling with at this point) is, "Does it matter?"
Does anything matter? My mother is crying right now, because her son is in trouble again. She tried to raise a good son, and she knows her son has a good heart, so why does he do these things? She is probably more hurt and confused than me. Does it matter? It hurts me to know these things, but DOES IT MATTER???
A hundred years from now, all my mothers pain will be forgotten, and other mothers will cry for there sons. A million years from now there probably won't be any mothers (at least not like we know).
I have feelings, in fact I think I must be more sensitive than most people because I seem to feel more than they do, at least more than what they openly express. I feel for the starving children and families in the world, others say, "Oh, that's too bad, but I can't do anything so..."
I wish I could be more honest about my feelings, but those demons made sure I'd never be able to do that. I might not know if it matters, but just in case, I am working on an encrypted journal that is hundreds of times more frank than this blog could ever be (that's why I keep it encrypted). I figure in 30 years or more we will have the technology to easily crack the encryption (currently very un-crackable, PGP) and then the world will know who I really was, and what I really did, and what I really thought. Also, maybe then they will understand that despite my actions, I'm not a bad person, I just have a disease contracted from society, and it hurts a lot.
I hope to complete this journal before I die (soon) or turn myself in (I still might do that, I think it is the right thing, but of course, I'm not sure).
Speak of being sure; I wish I could be sure about my thoughts. But right now the only thing I'm sure about is that I'm sure about nothing. It is not a good position to be in considering my circumstances (being a felony fugitive and all).

And yet another post:

Sunday, April 24, 2005
Wrestling With Demons

7:21 PM
Yes, I am still alive. I honestly wish not, I just don’t know how to kill myself so it makes sense. Nothing makes sense to me right now. Last night I realized I was “scared and alone.” Being scared doesn’t bother me as much as being alone, but it is a fate that I probably chose sometime before I was ever born because I’ve been making the decision to fight my battles alone since I was a small child. The current battle is of epic proportions (I do not make this claim idly either). It is a battle between me and my demons. Only two people in the world have a clue as to the power and nature of my demons (besides me) and they will probably never read this. But just the same, these demons are stronger than even I gave them credit for, and now they are taking my best blows and not even staggering. I’m afraid, very afraid. If they win then a lot of people will be badly hurt, and they’ve had their way before, so I know what they can do. I’ve been praying a lot and asking God for help. I’ve asked him to step in and intercede directly, because I see no other way at this point that I can win. If you are reading this, and you believe in God, please pray for God to help me defeat my demons. God has shown me the right choice, but my demons have me tied to a spit and the fire has already been lit. I don’t know if the right choice is even an option any more!

Yes, I know, it's morbid - but it is useful information too.

If more people had read Mein Kampf, and taken it seriously, maybe there would have been no WWII.

Needless to say, people are finding his blog, and posting comments like crazy.

Caution: When I surfed to the very first page of this blog archive (January 04?), which you can't reach through the link I provided above, a TROJAN may load on your PC!

My virus scanner stopped this, but I find that very odd, that a TROJAN could be downloaded off of a blog page.

email jp






Wired News: Top Stories