Friday, September 30, 2011

Earthdance 2011

There was a New Age vibe in Macdonough Monument park Saturday evening, September 24th. People came together to promote peace and celebrate the forests and nature. Unfortunately nature was biting, courtesy of the recent mosquito plaque.

Lively dancing helped to keep the blood-sucking pests at bay. The Blind Owl Band made the event festive with its catchy blue grass tunes. Evening soon gave way to the night, multi-colored candles scattered about the scene glowing bright in the darkness.

The event was held at the Lions Club "Bandshell." The circular cement foundation by the Saranac River provided a good dance floor but apparently one had to visualize the "shell." (If you call it a bandshell but there is no shell, then is it a bandshell? A question for great philosophers to wrestle.)

The 4th Annual Earthdance Plattsburgh was sponsored by the Red Hummingbird Foundation, a non-profit organization formed in 1999 by Don and Vivian Papson. It was one of many such events held around the world on the same date.

According to the Earthdance International Website since it was formed "Earthdance has been held annually in over 500 locations in 80 countries with all events simultaneously joining together in the Prayer for Peace – a powerful moment of coherent intention."

Don and Vivian Papson, co-founders of the Red Hummingbird Foundation, shake a leg.

(Note: The above image needed some extra photo-editing magic to make the jar in the foreground sharper. It's a composite of two different images.)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Monsters Outside My Door

This is for my arachnophobic friends.

(All images taken at night. Equipment: Canon XS camera. EF-mount Vivitar 100mm f3.5 macro lens with matched life-size filter attachment. Bogen 3001 tripod with ballhead. Lighting from either built-in camera flash or CFL light bulb (the "porch light") with custom white balance setting.)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Signs Of Conflict

With both signs one would think that the lawn to the Westelcom Stage Park between Margaret and Durkee streets would be clean. Keep your dog out. If your canine craps on the lawn you must pick up after it with one of the supplied waste bags. But it seems the messages cancel each other out. Why else would this be still be found there?

And if the above censored image doesn't indicate the problem to you, then go to the disgusting uncensored version here at

(Putting up diametrically opposed instructions is what I called Plattsburgh stupid. Especially when both of them fail to stop the problem.)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Rockeater Race: Misc. Images

What's a rockeater? And what is a Rockeater Adventure Race?

Rockeater is a slang term for a yokel with a low IQ and missing teeth (the teeth missing as if the person had been eating rocks). During a sketch on the TV "comedy" program Saturday Night Live people from Plattsburgh, NY were described as rockeaters. (And if you ever watch SNL you know why I put comedy in quotation marks. Plattsburgh bashing can be funny but somehow SNL pre-extracts humor from most of its sketches.)

To turn the pejorative into a positive city rec super Steve Peters used the term in naming a race held at the City Beach. Held on a sunny Saturday (Sept. 17th) the event was a combination costume party and 5-kilometer-long gauntlet with tough obstacles including concrete barriers, a dented-up car, fire and mud.

(For a better view of the images below, click on each one to see the full size.)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Rockeater Race: Ready, Set, GO!

If the slideshow link below doesn't work or isn't visible, go here to view the show with a larger view.

And if that doesn't work, you can view the set as individual photos with this link.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Rockeaters Race: The Final Stretch

What do you have when you combine Halloween with an obstacle course? The Rockeaters Adventure Race held at the Plattsburgh City Beach, Saturday, 9/17/11.

Click for the slideshow below. If it doesn't work or you want to view individual images in the set, go here.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Caring For Profit

According to a newspaper editorial there is no reason why a private company couldn't provide the same quality of health services that a governmental agency gives to its citizens.

Yeah, right.

The problem: rising costs and taxes.

Case in point: Home health care services provided by the Clinton County Health Department.

The answer: privatization?

Not according to some home health care workers who were demonstrating outside the Clinton County Government Building Wednesday evening. Of course, they're worried about losing their jobs but at the same time they raise other issues such as continuing the same level of care.

At the website page for the Clinton County Home Health Care Program there's this statement:

"Sometimes we all need a little help...whether you or a family member have a chronic or acute illness, are in need of physical therapy, suffered an injury due to an accident, or are in need of understanding nutrition and your health."

It's explained that visiting workers can provide a range of services including Nurses, Home Health Aides, and Medical Social Workers.

The demonstrators outside the county building questioned whether a private company could provide the same quality of care while trying to maintain a profit. HCR Home Care of Rochester wants to purchase the license from the county for the home health care program. The county employees say that to hold its profit margin HCR might cut those services that don't pay enough or cut back on the frequency of visits. This could mean that some clients would have to use local hospital emergency rooms for treatment or even be forced to move into a institutional setting, losing the freedom of living at home. The public would end up paying anyway, the costs just transferred elsewhere.

I don't know about HCR, maybe it can deliver. The newspaper editor states it has a good reputation. But I'm bothered by an editorial that claims there is no reason to think that a private company wouldn't provide the same service as a governmental agency. Oh, there's reasons.

You have to be careful when someone claims he'll save you money. Back in the 1990s an "expert" named Jeffery Skilling said deregulation of California's energy market would save the state billions of dollars a year. Jeffery worked for a little company named Enron. (Gee, what happened to that company? Well, California saved billions, didn't it? Just like Jeffery predicted, California was able to triple its police force in four of its major cities and double the number of teachers.)

Don't forget the controversy over some types of Health Management Organizations. These HMO's keep costs down under "capitation." A doctor is given so much money for each patient and whatever isn't spent, he keeps. Fewer treatments and referrals results in more money in his pocket.

And what money is saved under that system can mean a rise in patient suffering and early deaths.

Health and quality of life shouldn't be based on profit.

It should be based on real caring.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Twin Towers

The Collector

Fractional Lucid

Lowell Wurster (left) and Kevin Sabourin are 1/6th of the band Lucid. They perform as an acoustic duo Monday evenings at Olive Ridley's, 37 Court Street, in downtown Plattsburgh. Their gig usually runs from 10:30 PM to 1:30 AM.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Night People

(All images taken Sept. 3, 2011, between 8:25 and 8:30 PM. Downtown Plattsburgh, NY.)

Saturday, September 03, 2011

The Eyes Have It

Late Evening Light Show

I was walking along and it finally stopped raining, no need for the umbrella. As the clouds broke up and the sun ended another day journey, a light show ensued, photo ops with nature.

The following images were all taken on August 25th, 2011. Sunset for that day was listed at 7:45 PM for Plattsburgh. The following times are from my camera's meta-data which I assume is pretty accurate.

The eerie cloud was spotted over the Plattsburgh Plaza parking lot, upper Cornelia Street at around 7:38 PM. I'm guessing that the low sun, almost set below the horizon, was creating the Northern Lights effect on the underside of the cloud.

I caught this almost straight up rainbow at 7:44 PM, after sunset. This is the latest I've ever seen an evening rainbow.

This scene with the intense clouds was taken at 7:56 PM. It was quickly becoming dark at this point. Seen from the CVPH grounds.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Obama’s Problem

Make promises, don’t keep them, piss people off.

When campaigning for the presidency Barack Obama promised change. He would close Guantanamo Bay detention camp. He would wrap up the dead-end wars.

But after he became president Obama went centrist, abandoning the liberal/progressive voters that helped to put him in office.

And most of those voters aren’t happy.

When G.W. Shrub was allegedly the POTUS, Plattsburgh area liberals/progressives gathered every Thursday afternoon in Trinity Park in the city to protest his policies. Now the same protesters are back, this time upset with centrist Obama.

After all, a leader should lead, not backpedal. (Mayve the word backpeddle is more appropriate in this case.) Obama compromises to the point of surrender, apparently thinking that his centrist strategy will get him re-elected.

With the next presidential election don’t be surprised if another lame Democrat incumbent enables another screw-up Republican to win the White House.