Thursday, July 21, 2011



Ever wished you could have some kind of 'Dream Recall' button implanted in your mind somewhere?  Something, that with the twitch of a nose, the raising of an eyebrow or the tweaking of an ear would instantly activate & play in it's entirety the dream you were just having.  So many times I am off with old or new & often deceased friends or family members on some great disjointed or bizarre adventure to familiar or strange places.   Not unlike a Harry Potter movie sometimes.  

Whether it be distant Galaxies, old home towns or darkened castles, the dreams are always there every night.  They are there during the day as well.  Dozing in my recliner brings them on too.  And oh, how disappointing it is to be pulled out of a good dream.  And to know you are being pulled out of the dream is the hard part as the subconscious mind struggles to remain where it is & the waking mind struggles to regain consciousness. 


Sometimes when I am becoming annoyingly aware of that transition from dark to light I consciously try to hold on to the dream, but it is a losing struggle & as the conscious world begins to take over, the dream suddenly fades into obscurity. 

Oh how many great adventures & memories are lost each night & how many old friends once again fade away, lost in the shadows of our minds, waiting for us to return once again in our dream state to seek them out & begin anew another journey, another adventure:))

By the time I am fully awake, only snippets of memory remain, if any at all.  This is the time I would like to twitch my nose, raise an eyebrow or tweak an ear to activate my implanted Dream Recall button & replay the adventures of where I have been & what I have seen.

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And speaking of adventures.....Harry Potter certainly had himself knee deep in monstrous fire breathing dragons, magic wand duels & invisible cloaking devices Wednesday night.  Of course, & as usual, it was hard for me to know what all the plots & twists were all about again but that doesn't really matter.  It's the big visuals, big sound & big special effects that always attract me to those types of magical movies. 

I especially love Hogwarts, the ominous dark old castle with it's many foreboding long hallways & huge cobwebbed rooms of antiquity. 


Hogwarts is the ancient school of Wizardry where young boys & girls travel through a time portal to board the Hogwarts Express taking them to the school of Wizardry in hopes of studying the ways of magic, sorcery, & things beyond.  Love the concept, love J.K. Rowling's creative imagination & loved the whole movie series.   No, I did not read any of the books but know I would have really enjoyed them if I had. 

Didn't maybe understand all the little plots & twists along the way but I am glad to have been a part of the movie followers being whirled through time warps, transported in a flying car & the old Hogwart's Express train.  Happy to have been hurled over cliffs, chased my monstrous snakes & thoroughly zapped by lasers of fire & ice.  Thanks for having me along Harry, it has been an excitingly memorable journey these past 6 or 7 years.  I'm gonna miss ya guy:))              

DSC_0011IVAN has a great photo of a couple Wolves on the trail that is in competition for publication in Field & Stream Magazine.  It is a photo contest & you might want to slip over & cast a vote for Ivan's great very up close photo.  He's in the hospital now recovery from wolf bites....'NO, JUST KIDDING':))

There are probably as many Astronomy sites on the web as there are stars in the sky but a simple little site I have had on my desktop for years is EARTHSKY.   It tells me what Constellations & Planets are visible each night & was a big help years ago in sending me out each evening in search of what was currently in the night sky.  But, it was mainly the star chart page in my SKYNEWS magazine that blazed the trail into the night sky for me.



We all know where the Big Dipper is & it was from here using the Dipper as a focal point that I began looking for the same familiar star patterns in the sky that I was seeing on the pages of my Skynews magazine & in my larger NIGHTWATCH book with it's pages of star charts.  I first found the big W in the North sky which is the constellation Cassiopeia & soon I was on to the wonders of the Pleiades known sometimes as the Seven Sisters or Subaru.  Yes, it is this tight star cluster in the Autumn/Winter night which the Japanese Subaru automobile is named after.

I have decided as I go along with my Astronomy thoughts that I will not go into any great detail on Astronomy because all that is available on the internet.  What I will tell you is about some of my own favorite constellations, when & where they are & my thoughts & feelings about the night sky. 

In the meantime I leave you with this, which, when I first read it years ago was like a brilliant light bulb going off in my head.  It was not only a verification of my thoughts but it was a major piece of the puzzle in my struggles to understand, The Big Picture.'


"Astronomy is a science that compels us to seek beyond ourselves and our small world, a science of discovery that enriches our lives by exercising our brain and our intellect. It empowers you to think clearly and rationally. It improves and sharpens critical thinking skills." It may even encourage you to free up your mind to think beyond conventional religious beliefs.

"Astrology disempowers you. By placing your future in the accidental configuration of planets and stars, you avoid taking responsibility for your actions, you fail to make decisions based on your own best self interest, and you give up the power to control your own destiny. Belief in astrology results in a degradation of critical thinking skills, which, combined with the loss of power to control your own destiny, can only serve to degrade your life, not enrich it."
"Be in charge of your life. Experience the mystery, awe, and excitement of observational astronomy.........

DSC_0045THE LAST PARAGRAPH(s):  A reader commented on my Wednesday night's post regarding me being off to the final Harry Potter movie & in part says, " I am not sure why, but I would have not thought that you would have been a Harry Potter fan" :) 

Inside the walls of this at times blustery old Cursmudgeon there still lies the excitable imagination of a small boy. A small boy still looking for the lost magic & mystic in life.  A small boy on the station platform wanting & waiting to be whisked away on the Hogwarts Express to a land of enchantment & wonder. 

Do we not all have a part of that small child in every one of us.  That yearning for those early childhood days of innocent fun & laughter before any of us knew anything about the realities & truths of the world we were all about to embark upon.  We were told fantasies, we were given books & we were made to believe.  It has taken me many, many years of searching to understand & undo some of those beliefs.  It will take me many more years to love & appreciate the fantasies.  Say, is that the train I hear approaching?  I sure hope so..................



GROANER'S CORNER:((    Leaving Minnesota for Colorado, I decide to make a stop at one of those rest areas on the side of the road. I go in the washroom. The first stall was taken so I went in the second stall. I just sat down when I hear a voice from the next stall... - "Hi there, how is it going?" Okay, I am not the type to strike conversations with strangers in washrooms on the side of the road. I didn't know what to say so finally I say:

- "Not bad..."

Then the voice says:

- "So, what are you doing?"

I am starting to find that a bit weird, but I say:

- "Well, I'm going back to Colorado..."

Then I hear the person say all flustered:

- "Look I'll call you back, every time I ask you a question this idiot in the next stall keeps answering me."

The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right
now...... AL.


  1. So, Al, you're not going to answer my lens question? ;-)

  2. The Harry Potter books remind me of a place called Never Never Land, a magical place where you never had to grow up....and a mystical boy/child took us on adventures we never could imagine...Peter Pan was the very first Harry Potter character as far as I am concerned...and Captain Hook..the perfect villan...What memories of that magical book...I was lucky enough to take our 3 kids into Chicago to see the production with Sandy Duncan as Peter Pan...and create memories for them too...

  3. Hi Al

    I have all but two of the Harry Potter movies at home and I have watched them and I also saw all at the show but this current one. Which I do intend to go and see asap.
    I am a great Harry Potter fan.
    I love the imagination and excitement of these movies. I think she is a great writer.
    I would recommend them to children and adults of all ages.
    Kathy R
    Windsor Ontario

  4. Unfortunately the dreams I remember on waking are almost always bad. I hope I have good dreams in there too!

    I used to dream I could fly. Then one day I woke up and realized i was dreaming that I could fly and I was very sad because I realized it was a dream and in reality I could not fly. I have never remembered another flying dream.

    Don't think about your happy dreams to much. Just feel the peace and warmth as you wake. Don't let your rational mind take them away from you.

  5. Al, I totally understand about the Dream Recall Button. There have been many dreams I have had and they were so good I wanted to go back to sleep and continue the dream. :( Sad to say it doesn't happen. Maybe that is why you still have that magical draw as a child inside of you that pulls you to those dreams. Not so bad an it!
    Glad you enjoyed the movie!

  6. When you figure out how to recall those dreams - make sure you let me know the secret.

  7. I don't know a lot about Harry Potter or astronomy, but I would like to see that dream rewind thingy work! That would be super cool. Loved the photos...

  8. Nice blog Al, but I can't go along with you on the harry Potter stuff. Not my area by a long shot.
    But each to his own...
    I think I;m more of an old smudgeon than you are, course I'm a bit older....
    But I enjoy your Blog....

  9. It is interesting that you repeated hobopal's comment question in your posting today then said nothing more. I find this a bit unusual from your past blog postings.

    Is this part of your 'new' blog. Creating suspense, driving up interest or testing the waters to see if there is any interest?

  10. I think the little bird is a Black Cap Chick-a-dee... just my guess! I love my dreams... they so often bring back the people I love who have moved on to heaven.
    Have a great day

  11. When I was a boy (long before you were a boy, Al!)my Saturday mornings were taken up by the radio: Let's Pretend, Bobby Benson and the B Bar B, and other delightful shows. And I got to read Aesop's Fables, Grimm's Fairy Tales. That's how I got to wander through dreams and fantasies. Yay for childhood and the child within.

    Did you publish that comparison of astronomy and astrology before? Seems I read it before some place, and it is a very interesting comparison. Sure to draw complaints from some who are deep into astrology.

  12. Never to late to go back and read the books Al. I think you would find Harry even more interesting and the wizarding world even more facinating. I too started watching the movies before I read the books, but fell in love with them once I did start reading them and then the movies made even more sence. Just a thought.

  13. I shoot with a Canon 7D so I'm not up on the Nikon lens lineup but I assume you have the 18-55 kit lens that would have come with the D40. You seem to shoot all the way from macro and wide angle to telephoto. If you want a single lens to expand on your 18-55 then Nikon makes an 18-200 which would make a reasonable carry around lens although likely a bit heavier. I use my 28-135 as a walk around lens although I also have wider and longer ones. Stop in at a Henrys and see what they have you can try out. By the way, you pictures are awesome and I check in pretty much every day. Steve

  14. I do agree with your contrasting of Astronomy vs Astrology. I'm all about walking the path I was placed here to walk, directed by the Almighty, not the star formations. (my inserted belief)

    Think I might take a bit of a nap to see if I could revisit that recent dream of being married to Elvis...hmmmm

    We're all just children in grown up bodies...