Block Party

_C1_0813Well, we’ve reached my 100th post on this site since I refocused it in August 2013. This site has come a long way since then, I think. Thanks for sticking around.

This round of photos is from Sunday’s Block Street Block Party, an annual bash between Fayetteville’s downtown square and bar row on Dickson Street. They say 15,000 people in all crowd into three blocks of food, music, art and beer gardens.


_C1_0886My dad will like this: About five minutes after I got there, I was astounded to see these two dogs.

_C1_0765You might remember I posted a story last summer about my dog Shady after she died. We got her from the Humane Society and never knew for sure what breed or mix she was. These two boys, other than being slightly smaller, are identical to her. I couldn’t believe it.

The owner said they’re English Cocker Spaniels, though I’m slightly skeptical, given how different those spaniels can look. It was enough to see and pet them a little while; for a second, it was like Shady was in front of me again.






_C1_0759Here’s to another hundred! Thanks for looking.



IMG_8099Fuzzy tendrils reach out from a blossom’s golden innards in a Strawberry Hill Farms potted plant in Columbia, Missouri. The farm might be the biggest plant nursery I’ve seen.

IMG_8101Columbia’s where my grandparents live, at least when they’re not out at the farm. Until a little more than a week ago, it had been maybe a decade since I was there. Their house is almost exactly how I remember — the carpet, the board games on the shelves, the crowded kitchen bar my grandma always apologizes for. The place felt a little smaller than I remembered.

It was an extended weekend of driving, first to Columbia, then up to St. Joe, where my friend Mike makes cookies and hangs out with his shy cat named Henderson.


IMG_8169From there it was up to Lincoln, Nebraska, of course. It’s been too long for each of these places.






IMG_8324I’ve known each of these places for years, but they aren’t the same as before. Their shapes always change. It’s the same for people and their stories, I suppose.

IMG_8172For example, take this sister and her two students, running through a big, empty field toward a Science Olympiad event just because that’s what you do in big, empty fields. Science Olympiad is a competition with a couple dozen different topics and challenges, and back in my middle-school and high-school days, I was a massive Science Olympiad nerd.

You can clearly see I’m not a nerd anymore. But the point is new nerds and new coaches have come in. Now one of my old teammates is an event supervisor, and my old coach comes mostly for old times’ sake, and they’re both working on bigger things. The state competition still happens in Lincoln, but the town has changed, too, especially downtown. Time and other forces have nudged and stretched everything’s shape.

IMG_8207The university’s new features include a rock-climbing building and a roving skateboard gang. At least some of the same trombone players are still around to climb with.





IMG_8377I’m sorry it’s taken so long for this post, and to make it up to you, I plan to have another up today or tomorrow from yesterday’s Razorback Greenway opening here in Northwest Arkansas. Take a look, if you like.

Thanks for looking!

Over the Rockies

IMG_0492I’m thankful for people who work in airports and airplanes on Thanksgiving.

IMG_0495IMG_0500(These are above Dallas. I tried getting a bunch of natural formations — the Southwest is fascinating from the air — but they didn’t turn out.)

I’m thankful for a job that lets me learn constantly, and lets me find people and look for new ways of explaining and showing where they come from and why they do what they do.  I’m thankful for having a job.


IMG_0519I’m thankful for the people who love me and whom I love, especially the ones far away who stretch their minds and hearts to reach me.



IMG_0527I’m thankful for health and food, warmth and a bed, and for clear sinuses. I’m thankful for titanium wings that don’t snap off in turbulence no matter how many times I’ve pictured it happening.


IMG_0573I’m thankful for mountains and dunes and canyons and temperatures in the 80s in the Southwest. I’m thankful for getting to visit my mom here in Arizona for the first time in a good while.


IMG_0597Thanks for looking!



Night Lights

_C1_7577Happy 238th birthday to the U.S.A.! May we continue teaching each other about all of that history: how we as a people have failed and triumphed, and have failed and triumphed again, in our struggle for liberty and coexistence.

I took the chance to see two public fireworks shows this weekend: first in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and again with family in Springfield, Missouri. Fayetteville’s mall hosted the display, and families turned out hours beforehand for bounce-house lines, cover bands and explosives, so I came early, too. That’s the source of most of these images, with a handful from a couple hours’ drive north thrown in at the end.













Thanks for looking! I hope your fireworks were awesome, no appendages were damaged and you were where you wanted to be.