January 2017

Photographer Dave Sandford captures Lake Erie during storms

Thursday, January 26, 2017
Photographer Dave Sandford captures Lake Erie during storms

Dave Sandford, a photographer from London, Ontario, Canada, has photographed many subjects over his nineteen years in the business. According to his website, he's done mostly sports photographer but his interest in photography started with photographing nature. Many of his photos can be found his official website and his Instagram account. You can also follow Dave Sandford on Twitter.

Other Photos of Lake Erie

The Story Of Painted Post, New York

Wednesday, January 25, 2017
The Story Of Painted Post, New York

Painted Post, New York

What's In A Name?

How does a town get a name of "Painted Post?"  There's an easy answer to that...and a longer story.  The quick answer is the town was named after a post placed there by Indians. The real reason why the post was placed is not exactly known. But one speculation is that is was painted in a color combination suitable for some primitive type of communications. What's also not know is when the original was put in place.

The naming of this community in Steuben County, adjacent to Corning, NY, goes back to the Colonial Days and the Revolutionary War.  At that time, white men visiting the area found, on this very site, (the small park at the Community Square) an oak wood post which was square to a height of four feet and then octagonal to the top.  The surface was painted red and decorated with black figures, about half without heads.  There were numerous references to this "painted post" by the early settlers who found several explanations from the Indians who put it there.  For some it was regarded as a memorial to a fallen chieftain, for others a marker for assemblies and, a "war post" around which dances were held.

That original post endowed this place with a name which will endure as long as recorded history. By 1808, the first namesake had disintegrated and a fitting substitute was put up.  Since then there have been several other replacements and time, wind, and weather have taken their toll.  The present monument goes back to about 1950.

The Indian with the bow waves a greeting to visitors at the Community Square in Painted Post today, which is in the heart of the downtown business district.  It's not far from a major industrial property where an Allegheny field service team was working. During a lunch break, the pictures you see here were taken.

Important Points:

- Painted Post got its name from a post placed by Indians, though the exact reason for its placement is unknown.
- The town is located in Steuben County, adjacent to Corning, NY, and its naming dates back to the Colonial Days and the Revolutionary War.
- The original post found on the site was made of oak wood and had a square base that transitioned into an octagonal shape at the top.
- The post's surface was painted red and decorated with black figures, some of which lacked heads.
- Early settlers referred to the post as the "painted post" and attributed various meanings to its purpose, such as a memorial to a fallen chieftain or a marker for assemblies and dances.
- The original post deteriorated by 1808, leading to the installation of a replacement. Subsequent replacements were made due to the effects of time, wind, and weather.
- The present monument at Painted Post dates back to around 1950.
- In the heart of the downtown business district of Painted Post, visitors can find the Community Square, where an Indian figure with a bow waves a greeting.
- The Community Square is located near a major industrial property where an Allegheny field service team was working, as depicted in the accompanying pictures.

Mugu Rock and Point Mugu, California

Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Mugu Rock and Point Mugu, California

Mugu Rock, in Ventura County, California, gets its name from the Chumash word for beach, Muwu. It is a prominent land feature in Point Mugu and took on its current formation during the creation of the Pacific Coast Highway, starting in 1937. Prior to that, a narrow road went around the rock and its erosion was the reason for new route that was cut through the ridge.

A Tour of Flintstones Bedrock City in Valle, Arizona

Monday, January 23, 2017
A Tour of Flintstones Bedrock City in Valle, Arizona

Fort Roberdeau - History of the Original Lead Mine Fort

Sunday, January 22, 2017
Fort Roberdeau - History of the Original Lead Mine Fort
From the National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form, June 1973.

The location of the Fort is in the Sinking Valley region on the slope of Brush Mountain. The site is in an area of dense growth -- trees, shrubs, weeds -- recently removed by concerned citizens. Removal of the vegetation revealed a concrete foundation outlining the fort, poured between 1939-1941 for the purpose of reconstructing the site. Impetus for reconstruction was begun by concerned local agencies with National Youth Administration workers doing the physical labor. This was based upon the work of Donald A. Cadzow, State Archaeologist, who uncovered the original stone and brick foundation. The only remains above ground surface were the powder magazine walls of stone and brick and a square of masonry work, probably part of a smelting plant. Reconstruction efforts were discontinued in 1941 with the advent of World War II.

By Pubdog [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Few descriptions are available on the forts original appearance. The Columbian Magazine (September 1788) notes the erection of "a large fort of logs." Africa (1883) mentions the log fort upon which were mounted two small cannon, possessing a good armament, and manned by a regular garrison of 10-40 men. He also makes note of a smelting furnace. A sketch appearing in The Columbian Magazine of Fort Roberdeau (December 1788) shows a wall of what appears to be horizontal logs with a gate in the center and various out-buildings outside the wall. Craine (1941) notes the accompanying wording, "a timber fort, used for the same purpose as a blockhouse, but designed to accommodate a greater number of persons. Such a structure was generally made in the shape of a hollow square with various buildings and a watchtower within showing the line of loopholes at shoulder height." Craine notes that the stockade logs were horizontal rather than the customary vertical or up-right position because of the out-cropping of limestone which made it difficult to excavate deeply enough to place the logs in a vertical position.

The Fort site presently comprises 1.978 acres. The outline of the fort itself reveals a square structure with blockhouse-type protrusions on each of the four corners.

With the advent of the Revolutionary War, lead for the Continental Army became of great importance. Lead deposits were discovered in what was then the Sinking Spring Valley region, presently Sinking Valley, in Central Pennsylvania. General Daniel Roberdeau, a prominent Philadelphia merchant, an Associator, and a member of the Committee of Safety, was assigned the task of supervising mining operations in the area. Roberdeau, in order to house the miners of the area and to protect them from both Indians and Tories, erected the Fort in l777-l778 near the lead deposits in what is today Blair County. Eugene Craine, citing an original Roberdeau letter, states that he probably set up some kind of fort on an initial visit during 1777 and strengthened it on a second visit in 1778 by building a stockade.

The amount of lead derived from local mines is unknown. The enterprise was apparently abandoned by 1779 due to lack of assistance and expenses involved in mining operations. However, The Columbian Magazine (September, 1788) notes that the miners were from the old country, unused to the frontier life, and that the "whole undertaking fell to the ground." The Fort nevertheless remained standing even after its abandonment by garrison troops and continued to serve as a refuge for the local settlers. Craine notes that the Fort was occupied at least through 1781.

Fort Roberdeau was one of five frontier forts in Blair County in the 1777-1778 time-period. However, the other four were built by private enterprise, of the block-house type. Fort Roberdeau, commonly known as the Lead Mine Fort, appears to have been the only fort in Blair county built and manned by soldiers of the Continental Army.

Bibliographical References
Africa, J. Simpson, History of Huntingdon and Blair Counties,
   Pennsylvania, "Blair County," (Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts, 1883).
The Columbian Magazine, September and December, 1788, (Philadelphia: W. Spotswood).
Craine, Eugene R., The Story of Fort Roberdeau, 1777 to 1783,
    (Altoona: The Tourist & Publicity Bureau of the Chamber of Commerce, The City of Altoona,  1941).
Davis, Tarring S., ed., A History of Blair County, Pennsylvania, Vol. 1,
    (Harrisburg: National Historical Association, Inc., 1931).
Frontier Forts of Pennsylvania, Vol. 1, (Clarence M. Busch, State Printer, 1896).

Fort Roberdeau; Lead Mine Fort, The

The Internet is in Bad Need of a Soul

Friday, January 13, 2017
The Internet is in Bad Need of a Soul
Look at your world, what is your life?

Hour after hour you spend time scrolling screens. You're on your computer scrolling through Facebook. You're on your smartphone or tablet doing the same. You're posting updates about your life to social media. Maybe you spend time streaming random moments of your life to people on the internet. All of which are actions of trying to make a connection to people. When out public you, more than you realize, never look up to make true eye contact with anyone.

Yet, the more social "reach" you get, the less of a connection you feel. Things begin to reveal and you find that none of this is real. It's just not the same as a true connection. There is no soul, no energy, behind these interactions. The internet is a black hole that takes everything in. And what it sends back out is cold data. It is not streaming consciousness. There is no emotion in the data.

Now, don't get me wrong, that's not to say that people can't make meaningful friendships and relationships over the internet, but there's going to be the need real, regular meet ups in the real world. Daily Skype conversations will never be enough. Private messaging, instant messaging, and texting will never be enough. It's as real as that. Your ties to people have to be real, sooner or later, as we're a social species and we crave interaction.

This sentiment is best defined by the quote by Kristen Stewart's character in the film Anesthesia:

"Everyone is plugged in, blindingly inarticulate, obsessed with money, their careers. Stupidly, arrogantly content. I can’t talk to them, I fight them, I want to destroy them even. I crave interaction, I crave it. But you just can’t anymore. They pull their devices out for every little thing. To reinforce their petty, convenient notions, to decide where they’re gonna shop, what they’re gonna eat, what movies they’re going to watch. Everything they ingest."

While blunt, it hits right at the core of the problem of the digital and how it fits into the rest of the "culture" of contentment. People, instead of staring into the world for discovery and interaction, they instead pull out their smartphones and other electronics to discover these things. They're completely pulled into a flat screen and it has become a large substitute for tasks that were once done with true interaction. Again, these interactions are pulled into the black hole that is the internet. You're staring into an abyss. They're victims of false hopes and it's not their fault. Trust me, i've been pulled into this system too.

Sucked in by a black hole

Think about it, you may too easily be getting yourself stuck into a pattern slowly tearing you down. And if your home situation isn't all that great then it can be even worse. You try and find a connection with people online for support and perhaps catch feelings, there's nothing wrong with that, but you need to understand that video chats and streams are never going to be enough. If you want a true change, you're going to have to go beyond. You're going to have to go beyond the fears that this society has programmed into us. The fears of getting out there. If you know someone across the country that you want to meet, arrange to do so. Even if you're nervous. Because, most likely, the other person is just as nervous. The two of you, or crowd or whoever, can meet up in a busy public place to make those initial connections in the true world, instead of the digital one.

If you want to escape the environment you're in, especially a poor environment, then do everything in your power to fight for an escape. Reach out to people in your local community for help. The helpers are everywhere and can be found in the most unlikely of people. With declining communities and declining society, such as here in the USA, these real connections are going to be more important than ever. You're going to need to have people to trust and people to trust in you. They're going to have to be reliable people. Restore the structure, the community that has quickly become replaced by technology. And get people to go outside.

Technology is a thing that is meant to be a tool and not the structure itself. Remember that. Know that. Use it intelligently to reach out to people. But don't let it be only the beginning and end of your interactions. Always reach beyond and get to know these digital people outside the screens. Don't get stuck in a pattern of accepting the mundane. Live.


If you see people who need help online, make an effort to actually get them help. Discussions and listening to them are good. But we need to do more. More needs to be done. Don't approach these things in a manner of talking @ someone.

Talk to them, talk with them. Don't expect something from anything and go into online conversations with people in need, or with anyone, with selfish thoughts in mind. Make the interactions real. Social media has guided our mindsets into holding things back, things of emotion, and sometimes even doing things for self-promotion. Avoid this at all costs. Let your communications with people be real, with emotion, and true. Put life into the internet. Abandon public personas on social media and be your true self. Distance yourself from public social media and make it a secondary thing. Make your online communications more personal and stop striving to talk to as many people as you can. It dilutes your meaning, yourself, and your ability to get to know people.

Katelyn Nicole Davis ? Forever Missed