Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Wow!... the sun came out today!

The Finley was down quite a bit from just 24 hours ago. I actually walked about 100 feet down the paved trail along the river today, but then I got to a place where the river swallowed it up and I couldn't go any further. And where I could walk, the Finley was right up to the edge, still rolling fast downstream.

Monday, April 25, 2011


The walkway below the Ozark Community Rec. Center, leading down to the trails along the river, where I usually go walking at lunch. The edge of the river is normally located about 20 or 30 feet beyond the trees in the middle of the picture, above.

The old Jeep dealership parking lot in Ozark, the above photo was taken today and the one below was taken in 2009.

I left for Ozark this morning fully expecting that the Finley would be in flood stage, because of the seemingly non-stop rain we have been getting these past few days. And it certainly is.

The last time it did this was in the fall of 2009. A good place to gauge the height of the river is at the river crossing on 14 here in Ozark. There is a large parking lot on the west side of the bridge where The Heritage Jeep dealership used to be, with two buildings... a used car hut, and the main sales and service building. When the river is high the water gets to the used car hut, like it did in 2009. When the water is really high, it gets to the main building. It's at the main building now, and there is no sign that the rain is going to let up (at least in the next 24 hours, or so). If it keeps up the way it's going, we could see some real record-breaking flooding here in southwest Missouri. It's even worse to our south and east. It is interesting to see, but I hope everyone stays safe.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Earth Day!...

Little blue marble... just a speck in the universe. Our little blue lifeboat, floating on the endless ocean. You were here long before we existed, and you'll still be here long after we are gone. That is an oddly comforting fact. And you know... if we keep treating the Earth the way we have been, we probably won't be around for much longer, anyway. So... Happy Earth Day!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


My thoughts and ruminations (for what they are worth) on the Elton John concert the other night. See below.
The last couple of weeks have been very busy, so I took these past couple of days to slow down a bit. I've got some other things to write about, but that may not come till later in the week.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Elton John last night!

Last night at the JQH Arena, here in little ol' Springfield, Missouri, Elton John and his band played for close to three hours to a sold out crowd. That guy has had a lot of hit songs over the years. It was a very good show, and a fun night! I've never been a huge Elton John fan, but I like several of his songs. This was pretty much a once in a lifetime chance to see a living legend in popular music. Not something I could easily pass up. The show was well worth the hours I spent in the ticket line at JQH, the morning they went on sale. I don't mind doing stuff like that, and I love going to concerts. We had some great seats, with a grand view of everything going on... not only on stage, but pretty much all across the arena. It's been a couple of years since we've been to a big concert, and one of the most peculiar moments of the show happened when the house lights went down. As the first notes of Funeral For a Friend filled the darkened auditorium and the crowd erupted in cheers, the only thing you could see were hundreds of little cell phone lights in motion all across the arena. My first thought was that they looked like lightening bugs out in a field. It was actually pretty neat looking.

Now, obviously Elton John is a piano player, but I have to admit that his playing surprised me... he's very good, and very versitile; from honkey tonk, to blues, classical and straight-up rock & roll. He still has some fire in him as a performer, that's for sure. His voice is a little heavier than it used to be, and he can't hit the high notes like he used to, but that really didn't detract from the performance. The percussionist sang several of the falsetto parts, and there were four stellar backup singers that came onstage for certain songs... mainly on his new material.

The band was excellent. It was good to see Nigel Olssen and guitarist Davey Johnstone still playing with Elton. Those two have been with him (off & on) since the early 70s. Nigel is a unique drummer, and he really looks like he is enjoying himself up there. Heck... why wouldn't he!?

The night began, as I said earlier, with Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding, and ended with Crocodile Rock. He came back, spent a few minutes signing autographs at the front of the stage (pretty cool) and then closed the night with Your Song for the encore. During the course of the evening they played (these are just the ones I can remember, in no particular order) The Bitch Is Back, Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me, Someone Saved My Life Tonight, I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues, Daniel, Take Me To The Pilot, Madman Across The Water, Levon, Tiny Dancer, Rocket Man, Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting, Candle In The Wind, Goodbye Yellowbrick Road, and Bennie And The Jets... I know I must be leaving some out. Plus probably a half dozen from his latest album. Some of the new ones were pretty good. It was a very enjoyable evening with my wonderful wife Pam... Pam's sister Debbie and her husband Tracey, and our good friend Susan and her fiance' David.

On the news, they were saying that at the end of the concert, a man fell almost 20 feet from the upper level seats down to the concrete floor! This happened in section OO, which was right next to where we were. We never heard or saw a thing. Very odd. The guy is in the hospital recovering.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

the boys...

On a warm Spring day... not long ago. That's Gabriel, the goofy one... and Zeke, the old man. Zeke is fading from our lives. It won't be long before we have to say goodby to him, after almost 14 years. He's a good boy.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Cody's South... tonight!

Sock Monkey will be rockin' it up at Cody's South this evening, starting at around 8:30. Great food and fun music. I really can't think of a better way to spend a Friday night in Springding! I know I will be there.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Scenes of early Springtime on the Finley

Wake Robin and May Apple on the floodplain.
Grapevines. This time of year you can cut one of these and the sap will flow like a garden hose.
The Finley River in Christian County, at Ozark, along the Bluff Springs Trail

While at work these past few months, I have been coming out to the Finley to walk on my lunch hour. These trails are located south of the Recreational Center in Ozark. It's a welcome break from sitting at a computer all morning. This gravel bar has called my name many times, and almost convinced me just as often that all I really needed to do that day was linger there at the water's edge a little bit longer, and look for neat rocks, listen to the river flowing by, and enjoy the sounds of the crows in a nearby sycamore tree. I usually wait till the last possible moment, then head back to the car. Nature does not play fair!