A hard rain’s gonna fall.

This is Peters Creek Road in Roanoke, VA, nearly becoming a creek itself last Monday.  Look at those sheets of rain pummel the asphalt.  Hey, everyone I spoke to was thrilled — the sudden storms brought a welcome drop in the temperature.

I swear that the storms here arrive and exit faster than their counterparts in New York. Maybe it has something to do with low-lying storm clouds funneling through the mountains?

Yeah, I like Hardee’s, what of it?


Illustration of mink in John Burroughs’ “Squirrels and Other Fur-bearers,” 1909

Houghton Mifflin Company.  I believe Burroughs is the artist.

I swear I’ve got these guys in my neighborhood.  Tuesday marked the third sighting for me.  Either what I am seeing are mink or another species that resemble them.  They’re a bit bigger than this picture would suggest — bigger than weasels, anyway.




Nothing stops these Southerners on the Fourth of July.  We had intermittent thunderstorms roll through and around Roanoke early this evening.  But when faced with thunder and lightning, residents just kinda … shot back.

If you crested the right hill here, you could see fireworks displays at every corner of the compass — blasting back at the sporadic storms like a hubris-fueled war with heaven.  Seeing lightning streak across the sky with fireworks exploding in front of it is really, really damn cool.  (Regrettably, I did not get a shot of that.)



It’s a bird … It’s a plane …

I took this video a few hours ago, just before that brief thunderstorm over Roanoke. This looks like one of those AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) planes that the military uses, doesn’t it?  (See the dish-shaped radar device atop it.)  It was circling the area.

I remember seeing these in the 1980’s as a kid on Long Island (along with plenty of F-14 “Tomcats” buzzing our neighborhood), because Grumman Aerospace had a major plant out in Calverton.  They actually designed and tested new fighter jets there — which the kids thought was pretty neat.) The AWACS aircraft were the planes that could detect incoming planes or missiles from Russia.  (Nowadays, Senate Republicans would block funding for that sort of thing.)

I suppose this could be a civilian plane … I can only imagine that the radar technology has other applications.  I honestly don’t know.


You know what would be the perfect weekly Sunday morning trip?

A little Fredericksburg, VA, side street with a used bookstore, and indie comic shop, and a diner where you could get tons of coffee and omelettes.

The diner would have wifi. The comic shop owner would be a chill, affable local dude you could shoot the breeze with about the medium, or about current events. The used bookstore would sell a worn, dog-eared pocket dictionary so that you could learn to finally spell the word “omelette” correctly the first time. (I might just tear out that page and carry it in my wallet, along with the page containing “Pennsylvania.”)

And the entire street would be a block from the Rappahannock River, so you could take a stroll afterward.